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The Atlanta University Publications, No. 8 


Negro Church 

A Social Study 

Made under the Direction of Atlanta Uni= 

versity by the Eighth Atlanta 


Price, 50 Cents 

The Atlanta University Press 

Atlanta, Ga. 

No student of the race problem, no per= 
son who would either think or speak 
upon it intelligently, can afford to be igno= 
rant of the facts brought out in the Atlanta 
series of sociological studies of the condi= 
tions and the progress of the Negro. 

The OUTLOOK, March 7, 1903. 


Report of a Social Study made under the direction of Atlanta 

University; together with the Proceedings of the Eighth 

Conference for the Study of the Negro Problems, 

held at Atlanta University, May 26th, 11903 




The Atlanta University Press 

Atlanta, Ga. 



npHE Negro Church is the only social institution of the 
Negroes which started in the African forest and sur- 
vived slavery; under the leadership of priest or medicine 
man, afterv/ard of the Christian pastor, the Church pre- 
served in itself the remnants of African tribal life and be- 
came after emancipation the center of Negro social life. 
So that today the Negro population of the United States is 
virtually divided into church congregations which are the 

real units of race life. 

Report of the Third Atlanta Conference, 1898. 






1. Primitive Negro Religion 

2. Effect of Transplanting 

3. The Obeah Sorcery . 

4. Slavery and Christianity . 

5. Early Restrictions 

6. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel 

7. The Moravians, jSIethodists, Baptists, and Presbyteri 

H. The Sects and Slavery 

9. Toussant L'Ouverture and Nat Turner . 

10. Third Period of Missionary Enterprise . 

11. The Earlier Church<'s and Preachers. (By 


12. Some Other Ante-Belliim Preachers 

13. The Negro Church in ]89() .... 

14. Local Studies, 1902-3 

15. A Black Belt County, Georgia. (By the Rev. W. H. Holloway 

16. A Town in Florida. (By Annie Marion ^NlacLe 

17. A Southern ('ity 

IS. Virginia 

19. The Middle West, Illinois. (By Monroe N. W( 

the Editor) ' . 

The Middle West, Ohio. (By R. R. Wright, Jr.) 

An Eastern City 

Present Condition of Churches — The Baptists 

The African Methodists . 

The Zion Methodists . 

Tlie Colored Methodists . 
27. The Methodists .... 
2H. I'he Episcopalians 
29. The Presbvterians 




ni, Ph.D.) 

k. A. M. 

, and 



BO. The Congregational ists , . 147 

ni. Suininary of Negro Churches, 1900-1903 IBS 

32. Negro Laymen and the Church 154 

i«. Southern Whites and the Negro Church 164 

M. Tlu! Moral Status of Negroes 176 

o'>. ('hildren and the Church 185 

86. Tlie Training of Ministers 190 

31. Soni(> Notable Preacliers 202 

3S. The Eighth Atlanta Conference 202 

3i». Remarks of Dr. Washington Gladden 204 

40. Resolutions 207 

Index 209 


A study of human life to-day involves a consideration of conditions of 
physical life, a study of various social organizations, beginning with the 
home, and investigations into occupations, education, religion and 
morality, crime and political activity. The Atlanta Cycle of studies 
into the Negro problem aims at exhaustive and periodic studies of all 
these subjects so far as they relate to the American Negro. Thus far, in 
the first eight years of the ten-year cycle, we have studied j)hysical 
conditions of life (Reports No. 1 and No. 2), social organization (Reports 
No. 2 and No. 3), economic activity (Reports No. 4and No. 7), and Edu- 
cation (Reports No. 6 and No. 6). This year we take ui^ the important 
subject of the Negro Church, studying the religion of Negroes and its 
influence on their moral habits. 

Such a study could not be made exhaustive for lack of funds and 
organization. On the other hand, the United States government and the 
churches themselves have published a great deal of material and it is 
possible from this and limited investigations in various typical localities 
to make a study of some value. 

This investigation bases its results on the following data: 

United States Census of ISW. 

Minutes of Conferences. 

Reports of Conventions, Societies, etc. 

Catalogues of Theological Schools. 

Two hundred and fifty special reports from pastors and officials. 

One hundred and seventy-five special reports from colored laymen. 

One hundred and seventeen special reports from heads of schools 

and prominent men, white and colored. 
Fifty-four special reports from Southern white persons. 
Thirteen special reports from Colored Theological Schools. 
One hundred and nine special reports from Northern Theological 

Answers from 1,:M) school children. 
Local studies in — 

Richmond, Virginia. 
Chicago, Illinois. 
Thomas County, Georgia. 
General and periodical literature 

Atlanta, Georgia. 
Greene County, Ohio. 
Deland, Florida. 

In the preparation of this report the editor begs to acknowledge his 
indebtedness to the several hundred persons who have so kindly 
answered his inquiries; to students in Atlanta University and Virginia 
Union University, who have made special investigations ; and particu- 
larly to Professor B. F. Williams, Mr. M. N. Work. Mr. R. R. Wright, Jr., 


and Mr. W. H. Holloway, all of whom have given valuable time and 
services to this work. The Rev. F. J. Grimke has kindly allowed the 
use of his unpublished report, made to the Hampton Conference in 1901 ; 
Mr. J. W. Cromwell has loaned us tlie results of his historical researches, 
and ])r. A. jM. MacIiPan has given us the results of a valuable local 
study. The proof-reading was largely done by Mr. A. G. Dill. 

Atlanta University has been conducting studies similar to this for 
the past seven years. The results, distributed at a nominal sum, have 
been widely used. 

Notwithstanding this success the further prosecution of these import- 
ant studies is greatly hampered by the lack of funds. With meagre 
appropriations for expenses, lack of clerical help and necessary appa- 
ratus, the Conference cannot cope properly with the vast field of work 
before it. 

We appeal therefore to tliose who think it worth while to study this, 
the greatest group of social problems that has ever faced the Nation, 
for substantial aid j^nd encouragement in the further prosecution of the 
work of the Atlanta Conference. 


A brief statement of the rise and progress of the testimony of the reUgious society 
of Friends against slavery and the slave-trade. Philadelphia: Joseph and 
William Kite. 1843. 

Ernest H. Abbott. Religious life in America. A record of personal observation. 
New York : The Outlook, 1902. XII, 730 pp. 8o. 

Nehemiah Adams. A South side view of slavery. 8o. Boston, 1854 

Richard Allen, first bishop of the A. M. E. Church. The life, experience and gos- 
pel labors of the Rt. Rev. Richard Allen. Written by himself. Philadelphia, 


Richard Allen and Jacob Tapisco. The doctrine and discipline of the A. M. E. 
Church. Philadelphia, 1819. 

Matthew Anderson. Presbyterianism and its relation to the Negro. Philadelphia, 

A statistical inquiry into the condition of the people of color of the city and dis- 
tricts of Philadelphia. Philadelphia, 1849, 1856 and 1859. 

Samuel J. Baird. A collection of the acts, deliverances and testimonies of the 
Supreme Judiciary of the Presbyterian Church, from its origin in America to 
the present time, with notes and documents explanatory and historical, con- 
stituting a complete illustration of her polity, faith and history. Philadelphia : 
Presbyterian Board of Publications. 

J. C. Ballagh. A history of slavery in Virginia. Johns Hopkins University 
Studies. Extra vol., No. 24. Baltimore, 1902. 


Albert Barnes. Inquiry into the scriptural views of slavery. Philadelphia, 1857. 
John S. Bassett. History of slavery in North Carolina. .Johns Hopkins University 
studies. Baltimore, 1899. 

Slavery and servitude in the colony of North Carolina. Baltimore: The 
Johns Hopkins Press, April and May, 1896. 

David Benedict. A general history of the Baptist denomination in America and 
other parts of the world. Boston, 1813. 

Edward W. Blyden. Christianity, Islam and the Negro race. With an introduc- 
tion by the Hon. Samuel Lewis, ^d edition. London : W. B. Whittinerham ife 
Co. 432 pp. 8o. 

(ieorge Bourne. Man-stealing and Slavery denounced by the Presbyterian and 
Methodist Churches. Boston : Garrison and Knapp. 

Jeflfrey R. Brackett. Notes on the progress of the colored people of Maryland 
since the war. A supulement to the Negro in Maryland, a study of the insti- 
tution of slavery. Baltimore : J. Hopkins Univ., 1890. 9(3 pp. 8o. 

The Negro in Maryland. A study of the institution of slavery. Baltimore : 
N. Murray. (6) 2(58 pp. 8o. (Johns Hopkins University studies in his- 
torical and political science.) Extra vol. 6. 

William Burling. An address to the elders of the church upon the occasion of 
some Friends compelling certain persons and their posterity to serve them con- 
tinually and arbitrarily, without regard to equity or right, not heeding 
whether they give them anything near so much as their labor deserveth. 1718. 
In Lay, All Slave Keepers Apostates, pp. (3-10. 

Rev. Dr. R. F. Campbell. The race problem in the South. Pamphlet, 1899. 

W. E. Burghardt DuBois. IfKX). The religion of the American Negro. New 
World, vol. 9 (Dec. 1900) 614-(325. 

The Philadelphia Negro. A Social Study. Philadelphia, 1899: Ginn & Co. 
The Negroes of Farmville, Va. 38 pp. Bulletin U. S. Department of Labor, 

Jan. 1898. 
Some efforts of American Negroes for their own social betterment. Report 
of an investigation under the direction of Atlanta University, together 
with the proceedings of the third Conference for the study of the 
Negro problems, held at Atlanta University, May 2.5-26, 1898. Atlanta, 
Cxa. (Atlanta University, 1898. 66 pp.) 
The Souls of Black Folk. Chicago, 1903. 
William Douglass. Sermons preached in the African Protestant Episcopal Church 
of St. Thomas. Philadelphia, 1854. 

Annals of St. Thomas's Church. Philadelphia, 1862. 
Bryan Edwards. History, civil and commercial, of the British Colonies in the 
West Indies. London, 1807. 

Friends. A brief testimony of the progress of the Friends against slavery and the 

slave-trade. 1671-1787. Philadelphia, 1843. 
William Goodell. The American slave code in theory and practice. Judiciary 

decisions and illustrative facts. New York, 14.52. 
H. Gregoire. Enquiry concerning the intellectual and moral faculties, etc.. of 

Negroes. Brooklyn, 1810. 

L. M. Hagood. The Colored Man in the Methodist Episcopal Church. Cincinnati. 
Bishop J. W. Hood. One Hundred Years of the A. M. E. Zion Church. 
Edward Ingle. The Negro in the District of Columbia. Johns Hopkins University 
studies. Vol. XI. Baltimore, 1893. 

Samuel M. Janney. History of the religious society of Friends. Philadelphia, 


Chas. C. Jones. The religious instruction of the Negroes in the United States. 
Savannah, 1842. 

Absalom Jones. A Thanksgiving sermon on account of the abolition of the Afri- 
can slave-trade. Philadelphia, 1808. 


Robert Jones. Fifty years in the Lombard Street Central Presbyterian Church. 

Philadelphia, 1894. 170 pp. 
Fanny Kemble. A journal of a residence on a Georgia plantation. New York, 


Walter Laidlovv, editor. The Federation of Churches and Christian Workers in 
New York City. New York, 189(i-18»7. 

Lucius C. Matlack. The history of American slavery and Methodism from 1789- 
1849. New York, 1849. 

Holland McTyeire. A history of Methodism, comprising a view of the rise of this 
revival of "spiritual religion in the first half of the eighteenth century. Nash- 
ville, Tenn. : Southern Methodist Publishing House, 1887. 

Minutes, Annual Conferences, A. M. E. Church. 

Minutes, Annual Conferences, C. M. E. Church. 

Minutes, Annual Conferences, M. E. Church. 

Minutes, Annual Conferences, A. M. E. Z. Church. 

Minutes, General Conferences, A. M. E. Church. 

Minutes, General Conferences, C. M. E. Church. 

Minutes, General Conferences, M. E. Church. 

Minutes, General Conferences, A. M. E. Z. Church. 

Minutes, National Baptist Convention. 

Edward Needles. Ten years' progress or a comparison of the state and condition 
of the colored people in the city and county of Philadelphia from 1837-1847. 
Philadelphia, 1849. 

Daniel A. Payne. History of the A. M. E. Church. Nashville, 189L 

L Garland Penn and .). W. E. Bowen. The United Negro: his problems and his 
progress. Containing the addresses and proceedings of the Negro Young Peo- 
ple's Christian and Educational Congress, held August 6-11, 1902. Atlanta, Ga. : 
D. E. Luther Publishing Co., 1902, XXX, 600 pp. Plates, portraits. r2o. 

Reports, Freedmen's Aid Society, Presbyterian Church. 

Robert R. Semple. History of the rise and progress of Baptists in Virginia. Rich- 
mond, 1810. 

William J. Simmons. Men of Mark, Eminent, Progressive and Rising. Cleveland, 

Slavery as it is; the testimony of a thousand witnesses. Publication of Anti- 
Slavery Society. New York, 1839. 

George Smith. History of Wesleyan Methodism. London, 1862. 

David Spencer. Early Baptists of Philadelphia. Philadelphia, 1877. 

William B. Sprague. Annals of the American Pulpit. New York, 1858. 

Benjamin T. Tanner. An outline of history and government for A. M. E. Church- 
man. Philadelphia, 1884. 

An apology for African Methodism. Baltimore, 1867. 

H. M. Turner. Methodist Polity. Philadelphia. 

United States Census, 1890. Churches. 

A. W. Wayman. My Recollections of A. M. E. Ministers. Philadelphia, 1883. 

S. D. Weld. American Slavery as it is : testimony of thousands of witnesses. New 
York, 1839. 

Stephen B. Weeks. Anti-slavery sentiment in the South. Washington, D. C, 1898. 
Southern Quakers and Slavery. Baltimore, 1896. 

George W. Williams. History of the Negro race in America. New York, 1883. 

White. The African Preacher. 


1, Primitive Negro Religion. The prominent characteristic of primi- 
tive Negro religion is Natuie worship with the accompanying strong- 
belief in sorcery. There is a tiieistic tendency: "Almost all tribes 
believe in some supreme god without always worshiping liim, generally 
a heaven and rain god ; sometimes, as among the Cameroons and in 
Dahomey, a sun-god. But the most widely-spread worsliip among 
NegToes and Negroids, from west to northeast and south to Loango, 
is tliat of the moon, combined with a great veneration of the cow."* 
The slave trade so mingled and demoralized tlie west coast of Africa 
for four hundred years that it is difficult to-day to find there definite re- 
mains of any great religious system. Ellis tells us of the spirit belief 
of tiie Ewne people; they believe that men and all Nature have the 
indwelling "Kra," which is immortal. That the man himself after 
death may exist as a ghost, which is often conceived of as departed 
from the "Kra," a shadowy continuing of the man. So Bryce, si)eak- 
ing of the Kaffirs of South Africa, a branch of tlie great Bantu tribe, 
says : 

"To the Kaffirs, as to the most savage races, the world was full of spirits — spirits 
of the rivers, the mountains, and the woods. Most important were the ghosts of 
the dead, who had power to injure or help the living, and who were, therefore, 
propitiated by offerings at stated periods, as well as on occasions when their aid 
was especially desired. This kind of worship, the worship once most generally 
diffused throughout the world, and which held its ground among the Greeks and 
Italians in the most flourishing period of ancient civilization, as it does in China 
and Japan to-day, was, and is, virtually the religion of the Kaffirs." 

The supreme being of the Ba.ntus is the dimly conceived Molimo, 
the Unseen, who typifies vaguely the unknown powers of nature or of 
the sky. Among some tribes the worship of such higher spirits has 
banished fetichism and belief in witchcraft, but among most of the 
African tribes the sudden and violent changes in government and social 
organization have tended to overthrow the larger religious conceptions 
and leave fetichism and witchcraft supreme. This is particularly true 
on the west coast among the spawn of the slave ti-aders. 

There can be no reasonable doubt, however, but that the scattered 
remains of religious systems in Africa to-day among tiie Negro tribes 

-Professor ('. P. Thiele, in Encyclopedia Britaunica, '.ith ed., XX, p. ;!62. 


are sni'vivals of the religious ideas upon wliich the Egyptian religion 
was based, and that the basis of the religion of Egypt was "of a 
purely Negritian character." * 

The early Christian church had an Exarchate of fifty-two dioceses in 
Northern Africa, but it probably seldom came in contact with purely 
Negro tribes on account of the Sahara. The hundred dioceses of the 
patriarchate of Alexandria, on the other hand, embraced Libya, Penta- 
polis, Egypt, and Abyssinia, and had a large number of Negroid mem- 
bers. In Western Africa, after the voyage of Da Gama, there were 
several kingdoms of Negroes nominally Catholic, and the church 
claimed several hundred thousand communicants. These were on the 
slave coast and on the eastern coast. 

Mohammedanism entered Africa in the seventh and eiglith centuries 
and has since that time conquered nearly all Northern Africa, the 
Soudan, and made inroads into the populations of the west coast. 
"The introduction of Islam into Central and West Africa has been the 
most important if not the sole preservation against the desolations of 
the slave-trade,"! and especially is it preserving the natives against the 
desolations of Christian rum. 

2. Effect of Transplanting. It ought not to be forgotten that each 
Negro slave brought to America during the four centuries of the Afri- 
can slave trade was taken from definite and long-formed liabits of 
social, i^olitical, and religious life. These ideas were not tlie highest, 
measured by modern standards, but they were far from the lowest, 
measured by the standards of primitive man. The unit of African 
tribal organization was tlie clan or family of families ruled by tlie pat- 
riarch or his strongest successor; these clans were united into tribes 
ruled by hereditary or elected chiefs, aiid some tribes were more or less 
loosely federated into kingdoms. The families were polygamous, com- 
munistic groups, with one father and as many motliers as his wealth 
and station permitted ; the fainily lived together in a cluster of homes, 
or sometimes a whole clan or village in a long, low apartment house. 
In sucli clans the idea of private property was but imperfectly devel- 
oped, and never included land. The main mass of visible wealth be- 
longed to the family and clan rather than to the individual; only in 
tlie matter of weapons and ornaments was exclusive private ownership 
generally recognized. 

The government, vested in fathers and chiefs, varied in different 
tribes from absolute despotisms to limited monarchies, almost republi- 
can. Viewing the Basuto National Assembly in South Africa, Mr. 
Bryce recently wrote: 

* Eucyclopedia Britannica, 9th ed., XX, p. 362. 

tBlydeu, Mdh. Qiiar. Review, Jan. 1M71. See also his Christianity, Islam and the Xegro Race. 


"The resemblance to the primary assemblies of the early peoples of Europe is 
close enough to add another to the arguments which discredit the theory that 
there is any such thing as an 'Aryan Type' of institutions." * 

In administering justice and protecting women these governments 
were as etfective as most primitive organizations. 

The power of religion was represented by the priest or medicineman. 
Aided by an unfaltering faitii, nntural sharpness and some rude k)unvl- 
edge of medicine, and supported by the vague sanctions of a half-seen 
world peopled l)y spirits, good and evil, the African priest wielded a 
pow'er second only to that of the chief, and often superior to it. In 
some tribes the African priesthood was organized and something like 
systematic religious institutions emerged. But the central fact of 
African life, political, social and religious, is its failure to integrate — 
to unite and systematize itself in some conquering whole which should 
dominate the wayward parts. This is the central problem of civiliza- 
tion, and while there have arisen from time to time in Africa conquer- 
ing kingdoms, and some consolidation of power in religion, it has been 
continually overthrown before it was strong enough to maintain itself 
independently. What have been the causes of tliis? They have been 
threefold: the physical peculiarities of Africa, the character of exter- 
nal conquest, and the slave-trade — the "heart disease of Africa." The 
physical peculiarities of the land shut out largely the influence of for- 
eign civilization and religion and made human organization a difficult 
fight for survival against heat and disease; foreign concjuest took the 
form of sudden incursions, causing vast migrations and uprooting of in- 
stitutions and beliefs, or of colonizations of strong, hostile and alien 
races, and finally for four centuries the slave-trade fed on Africa, and 
peaceftil evolution in political organization or religious belief was 

Especially did the slave-trade ruin religious evolution on the west 
coast; the ancient kingdoms were overthrown and changed, tribes and 
nations mixed and demoralized, and a perfect chaos of ideas left. 
Here it was that animal worship, fetichism and belief in sorcery and 
witchcraft strengthened their sway and gained wider currency than 

The first social innovation that followed the transplanting of the 
Negro was the substitution of the West Indian plantation for the tribal 
and clan life of Africa. The real significance of this change will not 
appear at first glance. The despotic political power of the chief was 
now vested in the white master; the clan had lost its ties of blood rela- 
tionship and became simply the aggregation of individuals on a plot of 
ground, with common rules and customs, common dwellings, and a 
certain communism in property. Tlie two greatest changes, however, 
were, first, the enforcement of severe and unremitted toil, and, second, 

<■ Impressions of S. Africa, 3rd ed., p. 352. 


the establishment of a new polygamy — a new family life. These social 
innovations were introdnced with much difficulty and met deteimined 
resistance on the part of the slaves, especially when there was com- 
munity of blood and language. Gradually, however, superior force 
and organized methods prevailed, and the plantation became the unit 
of a new development. The enforcement of continual toil was not the 
most revolutionary change which the plantation introduced. Where 
this enforced labor did not descend to barbarism and slow murder, it 
was not bad discipline; the African had the natural indolence of a 
tropical nature whieli had never felt t!ie necessity of work; liis fij'st 
great awakening came with hard labor, and a pity it was, not that he 
worked, but that voluntary labor on his part was not from the first 
encouraged and rewarded. The vast and overshadowing change that 
the plantation system introduced was the change in the status of 
women — the new polygamy. This new polygamy had all the evils and 
not one of the safeguards of the African i^rototype. The African sys- 
tem was a complete protection for girls, and a strong protection for 
wives against everything but the tyranny of the liusl)and; the planta- 
tion polygamy left the chastity of Negro women absolutely unprotected 
in law, and practically little guarded in custom. The number of wives 
of a native African was limited and limited very effectually by the 
number of cattle he could command or liis prowess in war. The num- 
ber of wives of a West India slave was limited chiefly by his lust and 
cunning. The black females, were they wives or growing girls, were 
the legitimate prey of the men. and on this system there was one, and 
only one, safeguard, tlie character of the master of the plantation. 
Wliere the master was himself lewd and avaricious the degradation of 
the women was complete. Where, on the other hand, the plantation 
system reached its best development, as in Virginia, there was a fair 
approximation of a monogamic marriage system among the slaves; 
and yet even here, on the best conducted plantations, the protection 
of Negro women was but imperfect; the seduction of girls was fre- 
quent, and seldom did an illegitimate child bring shame, or an adulter- 
ous wife punishment to the Negro quarters. 

And tliis was inevitable, because on the plantation the private home, 
as a self-protective, independent unit, did not exist. That powerful 
institution, the polygamous African home, was almost completely 
destroyed and in its place in America arose sexual promiscuity, a weak 
community life, with common dwelling, meals and child-nurseries. 
The internal slave trade tended to furtlier weaken natural ties. A 
small number of favored house servants and artisans were raised above 
this — liad tlieir private liomes, came in contact with the culture of the 
master class, and assimilated much of American civilization. Never- 
theless, broadly speaking, the greatest social effect of American slavery 
was to substitute for the polygamous Negro home a new polygamy less 
guardetl. less effective, and less civilized. 


At first sight it would seem that slavery completely destroyed every 
vestige of spontaneous social movement among the Negroes; the home 
had deteriorated; political authority and economic initiative was in 
the hands of the masters, property, as a social institution, did not exist 
on the plantation, and, indeed, it is usually assumed by historians and 
sociologists that every vestige of internal development disappeared, 
leaving the slaves no means of expression for their common life, 
thought, and striving. This is not strictly true; the vast power of the 
priest in the African state has already been noted; his realm alone — 
the province of religion and medicine — remained largely unaffected by 
the plantation system in many important particulars. The Negro 
priest, therefore, early became an important figure on the plantation 
and found his function as the interpreter of the supernatural, the com- 
forter of the sorrowing, and ns the one who expressed, rudely, but 
picturesquely, the longing and disappointment and resentment of a 
stolen people. From such beginnings arose and spread witli marvellous 
rapidity the Negro Church, the first distinctively Negro American 
social institution. It was not at first by any means a Christian Church, 
but a mere adaptation of those heathen rites which we roughly desig- 
nate by the term Obe Worship, or '-Voodoism." Association and mis- 
sionary effort soon gave these rites a veneer of C'hristianity, and gradu- 
ally, after two centuries, the Church became Cliristian, with a. simple 
Calvinistic creed, but v.-ith many of the old customs still clinging to 
the services. It is this liistoric fact that the Negro Church of to-day 
bases itself upon the sole surviving social institution of the African 
fatherland, that accounts for its extraordinary growth and vitality. 
We easily forget that in the United States to-day there is a Church 
organization for every sixty Negro families. This institution, tlierefore, 
naturally assumed many functions which the other harshly suppressed 
social organs had to surrender; the Church became tlie center of 
amusements, of what little spontaneous economic activity remained, of 
education, and of all social intercourse. 

3. The Obeah Sorcery. Let us now trace this development historic- 
ally. The slaves arrived with a strong tendency to Nature worship 
and a belief in witchcraft common to all. Beside this some had more or 
less vague ideas of a sui^reme being and higher religious ideas, while a 
few were Mohammedans, and fewer Christians. Some actual priests 
were transported and others assumed the functions of priests, and soon 
a degraded form of African religion and v\'itehcraf t appeared in the West 
Indies, which was known as Obi,* or sorcery. The French Creoles 

'■■ Obi (Obeah, Obiah or Obia), is the adjective : Obe or Obi, the noun. It is of African origin, 
probably connected with Egyptian Ob, Aub, orOl.iron. meaning .serpent. Mcses forbids Israelites 
ever to consult the demon Ob, i. e., "< "harmer, Wizard." The Witch of Endor is called Oub or 
Ob. Oubaous is the name of the Rasclisk or Royal Serpent, emblem of the Sun, and, according 
to Horns Appollo, "ancient oracular Deity of Africa."— Edwards, West Indies, II, pp. 106-119. 


called it "WaldensiaiT' ( Vaudois ), because of the witchcraft charged 
against the wretclied followers of Peter Waldo, whence comes the dia- 
lect name of Voodoo or Hoodoo, used in the United States. Edwards 
gives as sensible an account of this often exaggerated form of witch- 
craft and medicine as one can get: 

"As far as we are able to tlecide from our own experience and information when 
we lived in the island, and from the current testimony of all the Negroes we have 
ever conversed with on the subject, the professors of Obi are, and always were, 
natives of Africa, and none other; and they have brought the science with them 
from thence to Jamaica, where it is so universally practiced, that we believe there 
are few of the large estates possessing native Africans, which have not one or more 
of them. The oldest and most crafty are those who usually attract the greatest 
devotion and confidence ; those whose hoary heads, and a somewhat peculiarly 
harsh and forbidding aspect, together with some skill in plants of the medical 
and poisonous species, have qualified them for successful imposition upon the weak 
and credulous. The Negroes in general, whether Africans or Creoles, revere, 
consult, and fear them. To these oracles they resort, and with the most implicit 
faith, upon all occasions, whether for the cure of disorders, the obtaining revenge 
for injuries or insults, the conciliating of favor, the discovery and punishment of 
the thief or adulterer, and the prediction of future events. The trade which these 
imposters carry on is extremely lucrative; they manufacture and sell their Obeis 
adapted to the different cases and at different prices. A veil of mystery is studi- 
ously thrown over their incantations, to which the midnight hours are allotted, 
and every precaution is taken to conceal them from the knowledge and discovery 
of the White people."* 

At first the system was undoubtedly African and part of some more 
or less general religious system. It finally degenerated into mere im- 
posture. There would seem to have been some traces of blood sacrifice 
and worship of the Moon, but unfortunately those who have written on 
the subject have not been serious students of a curious human phe- 
nomenon, but rather persons apparently unable to understand why a 
transplanted slave should cling to heathen rites. 

4. Slavery and Christianity. The most obvious reason foi- the spread 
of witchcraft and persistence of heathen rites among Negro slaves was 
the fact that at first no effort was made by masters to offer them any- 
thing better. The reason for this was the widespread idea that it was 
contrary to law to hold Christians as slaves. One can realize the 
weight of this if we remember that the Diet of Worms and Sir John 
Hawkins' voyages were Init a generation apart. From the time of the 
Crusades to the Lutheran revolt the feeling of Christian brotherhood 
had been growing, and it was pretty well established by the end of the 
sixteenth century that it was illegal and irreligious for Christians to 
hold each other as slaves for life. Tliis did not mean any widespread 
abhorrence of forced labor from serfs or apprentices and it was par- 

* Edwards: West Indies, II, 108-109. 


ticularly linked with the idea that tlie enslavement of the heathen 
was meritorious, since it punislied their blaspliemy on the one hand 
and gave them a chance for conversion on the other. 

When, therefore, the slave-trade from Africa began it met only feeble 
opi^osition here and there. That opposition was in nearly all cases 
stilled when it was continually stated that tlie slave-trade was simply 
a method of converting the heathen to Christianity. The corrollary 
that the conscience of Elurope immediately drew was that after conver- 
sion the Negro slave was to become in all essential respects like other 
servants and laborers, that is bound to toil, perhaps, under general 
regulations, but personally free with recognized rights and duties. 

Most colonists believed that this was not only actually right, but 
according to English law. And while they early began to combat the 
idea tliey continually doubted the legality of tlieir action in English 
courts. In 1635 we find the authorities of Providence islands condemn- 
ing Mr. Resli worth's belia-vior concerning tlie Negroes wlio ran away, 
as indiscreet, "arising, as it seems, from a groundless opinion tliat 
Christians may not lawfully keep such persons in a state of servitude 
during tlieir strangeness from Christianity," and injurious to tiiem- 

The colonies early began cautiously to declare that certain distinc- 
tions lay between "Christian" inliabitants and slaves, whether they 
were Christians or not. Maryland, for instance, proposed a law, in 
1638, which failed of passage. It was: 

"For the liberties of the people" and declared "all Christian inhabitants 
(slaves only excepted) to have and enjoy all such rights, liberties, immunities, 
privileges and free customs, within this province, as any natural born subject of 
England hath or ought to have or enjoy in the realm of England, saving in such 
cases as the same are or may be altered or changed by the laws and ordinances of 
this province. "t 

The question arose in different form in Massachusetts when it was 
enacted that only church members could vote. If Negroes joined the 
church, woitld they become free voters of the commonwealth? It 
seemed hardly possible. i Nevertheless, up to 1660 or thereabouts it 
seemed accepted in most colonies and in the English West Indies that 
baptism into a Christian church would free a Negro slave. Massachu- 
setts first apparently attacked this idea bj^ enacting in 1641 that slavery 
should be confined to captives in just wars "and such strangers as will- 
ingly sell themselves or are sold to us," meaning by "strangers" ap- 
l^arently heathen, but saying nothing as to the effect of conversion. 
Connecticut adopted similar legislation in 1650 and Virginia declared 

='=Sainsbury : Calendar of State Papers, 1574-1660, H 262. 
t Williams' History of the Negro Race, I, 239. 
tibid I, 190. 


in lf)(?l tliat Negroes "are incapable of making- satisfaction" for time 
lost in running away by lengthening their time of service, thus imply- 
ing that they were slaves for life, and Maryland declared flatly in 1663 
that Negro slaves should serve "durante vita." In Barbadoes the Coun- 
cil presented, in 1668, an act to the Assembly recommending the 
christening of Negro children and the instruction of all adult Negroes 
to the several ministers of the place. 

At the same time in the ready-made Duke of York's laws sent over 
to the new colony of New York in 1664 the old idea seems to prevail : 

" No Christian shall be kept in bondslavery, villenage, or captivity, except such 
who shall be judged thereunto by authority, or such as willingly have sold or 
shall sell themselves, in which case a record of such servitude shall be entered in 
the Court of Sessions held for that jurisdiction where such masters shall inhabit, 
provided that nothing in the law contained shall be to the prejudice of master or 
dame who have or shall by any indenture or covenant take apprentices for term of 
years, or other servants for term of years or life." * 

It was not until 1667 that Virginia finally plucked u}) courage to 
attack the issue squarely and declared by law: 

" Baptisme doth not alter the condition of the person as to his bondage or free- 
dom, in order that diverse masters freed from this doubt may more carefully 
endeavor the propagation of Christianity."* 

Following this Virginia took three further decisive steps in 1670, 1682, 
and 1705. First she declared that only slaves imported from Christian 
lands should be free. Next she excepted Negroes and mulattoes from 
even this restriction unless they were born of Christians and were 
Christians when taken in slavery. Finally only personal Christianity 
in Africa or actual freedom in a Christian country excepted a Virginia 
Negro slave from life-long slavery.! 

This changing attitude of Christians toward Negroes was reflected in 
Locke's Fundamental Constitutions for Carolina in 1670, one article of 
which said : 

"Since charity obliges us to wish well to the souls of all men, and religion ought 
to alter nothing in any man's civil estate or right, it shall be lawful for slaves as 
well as others to enter tliemselves and to be of what church or profession any of 
them shall think best, and thereof be as fully members as any freeman. But yet 
•no slave shall hereby be exempted from that civil dominion his master hath over 
him, but be in all things in the same state and condition he was in before." t 

So much did this please the Carolinians that it was one of the few 
articles re-enacted in the Constitution of 1698. In 1671 Maryland was 
moved to pass "An Act for the Encouraging of the Imiiortation of 
Negroes and Slaves." This law declared that conversion or the holy 

* Williams 1, 139. 

t Biillagh, pp. 47-S-.>. 

IBassett: Slavery iu Colony of N. C, p. 11. 


sacrament of baptism should not be taken to give manumission in any 
way to slaves or their issue who had become Cliristians or had been or 
should be baptized eitlier before or after their importation to Maryland, 
"any opinion to the contrary notwithstanding." 

It was explained that this law was passed because "several of the 
good peoi^le of this province have been discouraged from importing or 
l^urchasing therein any NegToes or other slaves; and such as have im- 
ported or purchased any there have neglected — to the great displeasure 
of Almighty God and the prejudice of the souls of those poor people — 
to instruct them in the Christian faith, and to permit them to receive 
the holy sacrament of baptism for tlae remission of tlieir sin, under the 
mistaken and ungrounded apprehension that their slaves by becoming- 
Christians would thereby be freed."* This law was re-enacted in 1692 
and 1715. 

It is clear from tliese citations that in the seventeenth century not 
only was there little missionary effort to convert Negro slaves, but that 
there was on the contrary positive refusal to let slaves be converted, and 
that this refusal was one incentive to explicit statements of the doctrine 
of perpetual slavery for Negroes. The French Code Noir of 1685 made 
baptism and religious instruction of Negroes obligatory. We find no 
such legislation in English colonies. On the contrary, the principal 
Secretary of State is informed in 1670 that in Jamaica the number of 
tippling houses has greatly increased, and many planters are ruined 
by drink. "So interests decrease, Negroes and slaves increase. There 
is much cruelty, oppression, rape, whoredoms, and adulteries. "+ 

In Massachusetts John Eliot and Cotton Mather both are much con- 
cerned that "so little care was taken of their (the Negroes') i^recious 
and immortal souls," which were left to "a destroying ignorance 
merely for fear of thei"eby losing the benefit of their vassalage." 

So throughout the colonies it is reported in 1678 that masters, "out of 
covetousness," are refusing to allow their slaves to be baptized; and 
in 1700 there is an earnest plea in Massachusetts for religious instruc- 
tion of Negroes since it is "notorious" that masters discourage the 
"poor creatures" from baptism. In 1709 a Carolina clergyman writes 
to the secretary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in 
England that only a few of 200 or more Negroes in his community were 
taught Christianity, but were not allowed to be baptized. Another 
minister writes, a little later, that he prevailed upon a master after 
mucli imiDortuning to allow three Negroes to be baptized. In North 
Carolina in 1709 a clergyman of the Established Church complains that 
masters will not allow their slaves to be baptized for fear that a Chris- 
tian slave is by law free. A few were instructed in religion, but not 
baptized. The Society for tlie Propagation of the Gospel combated 

*Brackett, p. 29. 

t Saiusbury's Calendars, 1G09-74, H 13S. 


this notion vigorously. Later, in 1782, ]Jishop Berkeley reports that few 
Negroes have been received into tlie cliurch.* 

This state of affairs led to further laws, and tlie instructions to some 
of the royjsl Governors contain a clause ordering them to ''find out the 
best means to facilitate and encourage the conversion of Negroes and 
Indians to the Cliristian religion. "t New York hastened to join the 
States which sought to reassure masters, declaring in 1706: 

" Whereas, Divers of her Majesty's good subjects, inhabitants of this colony, 
now are, and have been willing that such Negroes, Indian and Mulatto slaves, who 
belong to them, and desire the same, should be baptized, but are deterred and 
hindered therefrom by reason of a groundless opinion that hath spread itself in 
this colony, that by the baptizing of such Negro, Indian or Mulatto slaves, they 
would become free, and ought to be set at liberty. In order, therefore, to put an 
end to all such doubts and scruples as have, or hereafter any time may arise 
about the same : 

"Be it enacted, etc.. That the baptizing of a Negro, Indian, or MuUatto slave shall 
not be any cause or reason for the setting them, or any of them, at liberty. 

"And be it, etc., That all and every Negro, Indian, Mullatto and Mestee bastard 
child and children, who is, are, and shall be born of any Negro, Indian, or Mestee, 
shall follow the state and condition of the mother and be esteemed, reputed, taken 
and adjudged a slave and slaves to all intents and purposes whatsoever.":!: 

In 1729 an appeal from several colonies was made to England on the 
subject in order to increase the conversion of blacks. The Crown At- 
torney and Solicitor General replied that baptism in no waj' changed 
the slave's status. § 

5. Early Restrictions. "In the year 1624, a few years after the arrival 
of the first slave ship at Jamestown, Va., a Negro child was baptized 
and called William, and from that time on in almost all, if not all, the 
oldest churches in the South, the names of Negroes baptized into the 
churcli of God can be found upon the registers." 1| 

It was easy to make such cases an argtiment for more slaves. James 
Habersham, th*' Georgia companion of the Methodist "Wliitefleld, said 
about 17:50: 

•' I once thought it was unlawful to keep Negro slaves, but I am now induced to 
think (iod may have a higher end in permitting them to be brought to this Chris- 
tian country, than merely to support their masters. Many of the poor slaves in 
America have already been made freemen of the heavenly .Terusalem and possibly 
a time may come when many thousands may embrace the gospel, and thereby be 
brought into the glorious liberty of the children of God. These, and other consid- 
erations, appear to plead strongly for a limited use of Negroes; for, while we 
can buy provisions in Carolina cheaper than we can here, no one will be induced 
to plant much." 

'■' Braekett, p. 31. Bassett : Slavery in Colmiy of X. (,'., p. 4f). 

t Instructions of Lord Coriibury of Va., 7<)2. Williams I, 140. 

t Williams I. ]). 141. 

i Bnickett, p. Sit. II Archdfueou J. 11. M. Pollard. 


In Other cases there were curious attempts to blend religion andexped- 
iency, as for instance, in 1710, when a Massacliusetts clergyman evolved 
a marriage ceremony for Negroes in which tlie bride solemnly promised 
to cleave to her husband ''so long as God in his Providence" and the 
slave-trade let them live together! 

The gradual increase of these Negro Christians, however, brought 
peculiar problems. Clergymen, despite the law, were reproached for 
taking Negroes into the ciiurch and still allowing them to be held as 
slaves. On the other iiand it was not easy to know how to deal with 
the black church member after he was admitted. He must either be 
made a subordinate member of a white church or a member of a Negro 
church under the general supervision of whites. As the efforts of 
missionaries, like Dr. Bray, slowly increased the number of converts, 
both these systems were adopted. But the ]>lack congregations here 
and there soon aroused the suspicion and fear of tiie masters, and as 
early as 1715 North Carolina i)assed an act wliicli declared : 

"That if any masteror owner of Negroes or slaves, or any other person or persons 
whatsoever in the government, shall permit or suffer any Negro or Negroes to build 
on their, or either of their, lands, or any part thereof, any house under pretense 
of a meeting-house upon account of worship, or upon any pretense whatsoevei-, and 
shall not suppress and hinder them, he, she, or they so offending, shall, for every 
default, forfeit and pay fifty pounds, onedialf toward defraying the contingent 
charges of the government, the other to him or them that shall sue for the same."* 

This made Negro meiidjers of white churches a necessity in this 
colony, and there was the same tendency in otlier colonies. "Maryland 
passed a law in 1723 to suppress tumultuous meetings of slaves on 
Sabbath and other holy days," a measure primarily for good order, but 
also tending to curb independent religious meetings among Negroes. 
In 1800 complaints of Negro meetings were heard. Georgia in 1770 for- 
bade slaves "to assemble on pretense of feasting," etc., and "any con- 
stable," on direction of a justice, is commanded to disperse any assem- 
bly or meeting of slaves "whicli may disturb the peace or endanger the 
safety of his Majesty's subjects; and every slave which may be found 
at such meeting, as aforesaid, shall and may, by order of such justice, 
immediately be corrected, without trial, by receiving on the bare back 
twenty-five stiipes, with a whip, switch, or cowskin," etc.t In 1792 in 
a Georgia act "to protect religious societies in the exercise of their 
religious duties," punishment was provided for persons disturbing 
white congregations, but "no congregation or company of Negroes shall 
upon pretense of divine worsliii) assemble themselves" contrary to the 
act of 1770. Whether or not such acts tended to curb the really religious 
meetings of the slaves or not it is not easy to know. Proba);)ly they 
did, although at the same time tliere was prol^ably much disorder and 

'■' Lapsed iu 1741. See Laws of 1715, Ch. 16, Sec. IS; Bassett: Colony, p. 50. 
t Prince's Digest, 117. 


turmoil among slaves, which sought to cloak itself under the name of 
the church. This was natural, for such assemblies were the only sur- 
viving African organizations, and they epitomized all there was in 
slave life outside of forced toil. 

It gradually became true, as Brackett says, that "any privileges of 
church-going which slaves might enjoy depended much, as with chil- 
dren, on the disposition of the masters."* In some colonies, like 
North Carolina, masters continued indifferent throughout the larger 
part of the eighteenth century. In New Hanover county of that state 
out of a thousand whites and two thousand slaves, 307 masters were 
baptized in 1742, but only nine slaves. The English are told of continued 
indifference in Massachusetts, the Connecticut General Assembly Is 
asked in 1738 if masters ought not to promise to train slaves as Chris- 
tians, and instructions are repeatedly given to Governors on the matter, 
witli but vsmall results.! 

6. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. t "The Society for 
the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts" was incorporated under 
William III, on the 16th day of June, 1701, and the first meeting of the 
society under its charter was the 27th of June of the same year. 
Thomas Laud, Bishop of Canterbury, Primate and Metropolitan of all 
England, was appointed by his majesty tlie first president. 

This society was formed with the view, primarily, of supplying the 
destitution of religious institutions and privileges among the inhabi- 
tants of the North American colonies, members of the esta])lished 
church of England; and, secondarily, of extending the gospel to the 
Indians and Negroes. The society entered upon its duties with zeal, 
being patronized by the king and all the dignitaries of the Church of 

They instituted inquiries into the religious condition of all the colo- 
nies, responded to "by the governors and persons of the best note," 
(with special reference to Episcopacy), and tliey perceived tliat their 
work "consisted of three great branches: the care and instruction of 
our people settled in the colonies ; the conversion of the Indian savages, 
and the conversion of the Negroes." Before appointing missionaries 
they sent out a traveling preacher, the Rev. George Keith (an itinerant 
missionary), who associated with himself the Rev. John Talbot. Mr. 
Keith preached between North Carolina and Piscataqua river in New 
England, a tract above eight hundred miles in length, and completed 
his mission in two years, and returned and reported his labors to the 

The annual meetings of this society were regularly held from 1702 to 
1819 and 118 sermons preached before it by bishops of the Church of 

• Brackett, pp. 108-110. f Bassett : Coloiiy, p. 49; Williams I, p. ^S>>.. 

tThis section is taken largely from Charles Colcock Jones' "The Religious Instruction of the 
Negroes," Savannah, 1842. 


England, a large number of them distinguislied for piety, learning, and 

In June, 1702, the Rev. Samuel Thomas, the first missionary, was 
sent to the colony of South Carolina. The society designed he should 
attempt the conversion of the Yammosee Indians; but the governor. 
Sir Nathaniel Johnson, appointed him to the care of the people settled 
on the three branches of Cooper river, making Goose creek his resi- 
dence. He reported his labors to the society and said ''that he had 
taken much pains also in instructing the Negroes, and learned twenty 
of them to read." He died in October, 1706, He was succeeded by a 
number of missionaries. 

"In 1709 Mr. Huddlestone was appointed school-master in New York 
city. He taught forty poor children out of the society funds, and pub- 
licly catechised in the steeple of Trinity Church every Sunday in the 
afternoon, 'not only his own scholars, but also the children, servants 
and slaves of the inhabitants, and above one hundred usually attended 

"The society established also a catechising school in New York city 
in 1704, in which there were computed to be about 1,500 Negro and Indian 
slaves. The society hoped their example would be generally followed 
in the colonies. Mr. Elias Neau, a French Protestant, was appointed 
catechist. who was very zealous in his duty, and many Negroes were 
instructed and baptized. 

"In 1712 the Negroes in New York conspired to destroy all the English, 
which greatly discouraged the work of their instruction. The con- 
spiracy was defeated, and many Negroes taken and executed. Mr. 
Neau's school was blamed as the main occasion of the barbarous plot; 
two of Mr. Neau's students were charged with the plot; one was cleared 
and the other was proved to have been in the conspiracy, but guiltless 
of his master's murder. 'Upon full trial the guilty Negroes were found 
to be sucli as never came to Mr. Neau's school; and, what is very ob- 
servable, the persons whose Negroes were found most guilty were such 
as were the declared opposers of making tliem Christians.' In a short 
time the cry against the instruction of the Negroes subsided: the gov- 
ernor visited and recommended the school. Mr. Neau died in 1722, 
much regretted by all who knew his labors." P[e was succeeded by 
Rev. Mr. Wetmore, who afterwards was appointed missionary to Rye 
in New York. After his removal "the rector, church wardens, and 
vestry of Trinity Church in New York city" requested another cate- 
chist, "there being about 1,400 Negro and Indian slaves, a considerable 
number of wiiom had been instructed in the principles of Christianity 
by tlie late Mr. Neau, and had received baptism and were communicants 
in their cliurch. Tlie society complied with this request and sent over 
Rev. Mr. Colgan in 1726, who conducted the school with success."* 

•Cf. Atlanta University Publications, No. (i. 


The society looked upon the instruction and conversion of the Negroes 
as a principal branch of its care, esteeming it a great reproach to the 
Christian name that so many thousands of persons should continue in 
the same state of pagan darkness under a Christian government and 
living in Cliristian families as they lay under formerly in their own 
heathen countries. The society immediately from its first institu- 
tion strove to promote their conversion, aiul inasmuch as its income 
would not enal)le it to send numbers of catechists sufficient to in- 
struct the Negroes, yet it resolved to do its utmost, and at least to 
give this work the mark of its higliest approbation. Its officers wrote, 
therefore, to all tlieir missionai'ies that they sliould use their best 
endeavors at proper times to instruct the Negroes, and should especially 
take occasion to recommend zealously to the masters to ordei- their 
slaves, at convenient times, to come to them that tliey miglit be in- 

The history of the society goes on to say : "It is a matter of commen- 
dation to thp clergy that they have done thus much in so great and 
difficult a work. Jiut, alas! what is the instruction of a few hundreds 
in several years with respect to the many thousands uninstructed, 
unconverted, living, dying, utter pagans. It must be confessed what 
hath been done is as notliing with regard to what a true Christian 
would hope to see effected." After stating several difficulties in respect 
to the religious instruction of the Negroes, it is said: ''But tiie greatest 
obstruction is the masters themselves do not consider enough the obli- 
gation whicli lies upon them to have their slaves instructed." And in 
another place, "•the society iiave always l)een sensilile the most effectual 
way to convert the Negroes was by engaging their masters to counten- 
ance and promote their conversion." Tlie bishop of St. Asaph, Dr. 
Fleetwood, preaclied a sermon 1)efore the society in the year 1711, set- 
ting forth the duty of instructing tlie Negroes in the Christian religion. 
The society thought this so useful a discourse that they printed and 
dispersed aln'oad in the plantations great num])ers of that sermon in 
the same year; and in the year 1725 reprinted the same and dispersed 
again great numbers. The bishop of London, Dr. Gibson, (to wliom 
the care of plantations aln'oad, as to i'(>ligious affairs, was committed,) 
became a second advocate for the conversion of Negroes, and wrote two 
letters on tlie subject. Tlie first in 1727, "addressed to masters and 
mistresses of families in the Englisli plantations abroad, exhorting 
them to encoiu'age and promote the instruction of tlieir Negroes in the 
Christian faith. The second in tlie same year, addressed to the mis- 
sionaries there, directing them to distribute tlie said letter, and exlmrt- 
ing them to give their assistance towards the instrtiction of the Negroes 
within their several parishes." 

The society were persuaded this was the true method to remove the 
great obstruction to their conversion, and hoping so i?articular an appli- 
cation to the masters and mistresses from the See of London would have 


the strong-est influence, tliey printed tei\ thousand copies of the letter 
to the masters and niistresses, wliich were sent to all the colonies on 
the continent and to all the British islands in the West Indies, to l)e 
distrilinted among- the masters of families, and all other inhahitants. 
The society received accounts that these letters influenced many mas- 
ters of families to liave tlieir servants instructed. The bisliop of Lon- 
don soon after wrote "an address to serious Cliristians among ourselves, 
to assist tlie Society for Propagating the Gospel in cari'ying on tiiis 

In the year 1783, aiKl the following, soon after the separation of our 
colonies from the motlier country, the society's operations ceased, lea^v- 
ing in all the colonies forty-three missionaries, two of wliom were in 
the Soutliern States — one in North and one in South Carolina. The 
affectionate valediction of the society to them was issued in 1785. 
'•'Thus terminated the connection of this noble society with our country, 
wliicli, from tlie foregoing notices of its eft'orts, must have accomplished 
a great deal for the religious instruction of the Negro i^opulation." 

7. The Moravians, Methodists, Baptists, and Presbyterians.* The 

Moravians or United Bi-ethren were the first who formally attempted 
tlie establishment of missions exclusively to the Negroes. 

A succinct account of their several efforts, down to the year 17'.K), is 
given in the report of tlie Society for tlie Propagation of the Gospel 
among tiie Heathen, at Salem. N. C, Octol)er 5th, LS37, l)y Rev. J. Hen- 
atus Schmidt, and is as follovrs: 

"A hundred years have now elapsed since the I'enewed Clmrcli of the i^rethren 
first attempted to communicate the gospel to the many thousand Xegroes of our 
land. In 1737 Count Zinzendorf paid a visit to London and formed an acquaint- 
ance with General Oglethorpe and the trustees of Georgia, with whom he con- 
ferred on the subject of the mission to the Indians, which the brethren had 
already established in that colony (in 1735). Some of these gentlemen were asso- 
ciates under the will of Dr. Bray, who had left funds to be devoted to the conver- 
sion of the Negro slaves in South Carolina; and they solicited the Count to procure 
them some missionaries for this purpose. On his objecting that the Churcli of 
England might hesitate to recognize the ordination of the Brethren's missionaries, 
they referred the question to the Archbishop of Canterbtiry, Dr. Potter, who gave 
it as his opinion 'that the Brethren being members of an Episcopal Church, whose 
doctrines contained nothing reptignant to the Thirty-nine Articles, ought not to 
be denied free access to the heathen.' This declaration not only removed all hesi- 
tation from the minds of the trustees as to the present application, but opened the 
way for the labors of the Brethren amongst the slave population of the West 
Indies, a great and blessed work, which has, by the gracious help of (iod, gone on 
increasing even to the present day. 

"Various proprietors, however, avowing their determination not to suffer stran- 
gers to instruct their Xegroes, as they had their own ministers, whom they paid 

* This section is largely based on Jones. See i^i. 


for that purpose, our brethren ceased from their efforts. It appears from the let- 
ters of Brother Spangenburg, who spent the greater part of the year 1749 at Phila- 
delphia and preached the gospel to the Negroes in that city, that the labors of the 
Brethren amongst them were not entirely fruitless. Thus he writes in 1751 : 'On 
my arrival in Philadelphia, I saw numbers of Negroes still buried in all their 
native ignorance and darkness, and my soul was grieved for them. Soon after 
some of them came to me, requesting instruction, at the same time acknowledging 
their ignorance in the most affecting manner. They begged that a weekly sermon 
might be delivered expressly for their benefit. I complied with their request and 
confined myself to the most essential truths of scripture. Upwards of seventy 
Negroes attended on these occasions, several of whom were powerfully awakened, 
applied for further instruction, and expressed a desire to be united to Christ and 
his church by the sacrament of baptism, which was accordingly administered to 
them.' " 

At the request of Mr. Knox, the English Secretary of State, an at- 
tempt was made to evangelize the Negroes of Geoi'gia. "In 1774 the 
Brethren, Lewis Mailer, of the Academy at Niesky, and George Wag- 
ner, were called to North America and in the year following, having 
been joined by Brother Andrew Broesing, of North Carolina, they took 
up their abode at Knoxborough, a plantation so called from its pro- 
j)rietor, the gentleman above mentioned. They were, however, almost 
constant sufferers from the fevers which prevailed in those parts, and 
Muller finished his course in October of the same year. He had 
preached the gospel with acceptance to both whites and blacks, yet 
without any abiding results. The two remaining Brethren being 
called upon to bear arms on the breaking out of the war of independ- 
ence, Broesing repaired to Wachovia, in North Carolina, and Wagner 
set out in 1779 for England." 

In the great Northampton revival, under the preaching of Dr. Ed- 
wards in 1735-6, when for the space of five or six weeks together the 
conversions averaged at least "four a day," Dr. Edwards remarks: 
"There are several Negroes who, from what was seen in them then and 
what is discernible in them since, appear to have been truly born 
again in the late remarkable season." 

Direct efforts for the religious instruction of Negroes, continued 
through a series of years, were made by Presbyterians in Virginia. 
They commenced with the Rev. Samuel Davies, afterwards president 
of Nassau Hall, and the Rev. John Todd, of Hanover Presbytery. 

In a letter addressed to a friend and member of the "Society in 
London for promoting Christian knowledge among the poor" in the 
year 1755, he thus expresses himself: "The poor neglected Negroes, 
who are so far from having money to purchase books, that they them- 
selves are the property of others, who were originally African sav- 
ages, and never heard of the name of Jesus or his gospel until they 
arrived at the land of their slavery in America, whom their masters 
generally neglect, and whose souls none care for, as though immor- 
tality were not a privilege common to them, as with their masters; 


these poor, unliappy Africans are objects of my compassion, and I 
think the most proper objects of the society's charity. The inliabi- 
tants of Virginia are computed to be about 300,000 men, the one-half 
of which number are supposed to be Negroes. The number of those 
who attend my ministry at particular times is uncertain, but gener- 
ally about 300, who give a stated attendance; and never have I been 
so struck with tlie appearance of an assembly as when I have glanced 
my eye to that part of the meeting-house where they u.sually sit, 
adorned (for so it has appeared to me) with so many black countenances, 
eagerly attentive to every word they hear and frequently bathed in 
tears. A considerable number of them (about a hundred) have been 
baptized, after a proper time for Instruction, having given credible 
evidence, not only of their acquaintance with the important doctrines 
of the Christian X'eligion, but also a deep sense of them in their 
minds, attested by a life of strict piety and holiness. As they are 
not sufficiently polished to disserable with a good grace, they express 
the sentiments of their souls so much in the language of simple na- 
ture and with such genuine indications of sincerity, that it is im- 
possible to suspect their professions, esjjecially when attended with a 
truly Christian life and exemplary conduct. There are multitudes of 
them in different places, who are willingly and eagerly desirous to be 
instructed and embrace every opportunity of acquainting themselves 
with the doctrines of the gospel; and though they have generally very 
little help to learn to read, yet to my agreeable surprise, many of 
them by dint of application in their leisure hours, have made such 
progress that they can intelligibly read a plain autlior, and especially 
their Bibles; and pity it is that any of them should be without them. 

''The Negroes, above all the human species that I ever knew, have 
an ear for music and a kind of ecstatic delight in psalmody, and there 
are no books they learn so soon or take so mucli pleasure in as those 
used in that heavenly part of divine worship." 

Tiie year 1747 was marked, in the colony of Georgia, by the au- 
thorized introduction of slaves. Twenty-three representatives from 
the different districts met in Savannah, and after appointing Major 
Horton president, they entered into sundry resolutions, the substance 
of which was ''that the owners of slaves should educate the young 
and use every possible means of making religious impressions upon 
the minds of the aged, and that all acts of inhumanity should be 
I)unished by the civil authority." 

Methodism was introduced in New York in 1766, and the first mis- 
sionaries were sent out by Mr. Wesley from New York in 1769. One 
of these says: "The number of blacks that attend the preaching 
affects me much." The first regular conference was held in Phila- 
delphia, 1773. From this year to 1776 there was a great revival of re- 
ligion in Virginia under the preaching of the Methodists in connection 
with Rev. Mr. Jarrattof the Episcopal Churcli, which spread through 


fourteen counties in Virginia and two in North Carolina. One letter 
states "the chapel was full of white and black;" another, "hundreds 
of Negroes were among them, with tears streaming down their faces." 
At Roanoke another remarks: "In general the white people were 
within the chapel and the black people without." 

At tiie eightli conference in Baltimore in 1780 the following question 
appeared in the minutes: "Question 25. Ought not the assistant to 
meet the colored people himself and appoint helpers in his absence, 
proper wliite persons, and not suffer them to stay late and meet by them- 
selves? Answer. Yes." Under tlie preaching of Mr. Garretson in Mary- 
land "liundreds, both white and black, expressed their love for Jesus." 

Tlie first return of colored members distinct from white occurs in 
the minutes of 1786: White 18,791, colored 1,890. "It will be perceived 
from tlie above," says Dr. Bangs in his history of tlie Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, "that a considerable number of colored persons had 
been I'eceived into the cluirch, and were so returned in tlie minutes of 
the conference. Hence it appears that at an early period of the Metho- 
dist ministry in tliis country it had turned its attention to this part of 
the population." 

In 1790 it was again asked: "What can be done to instruct poor 
children, white and black, to read? Answer. Let us labor as the lieart 
and soul of one man to establish Sunday-schools in or near the place 
of public worship. Let persons be appointed by the bishops, elders, 
deacons, or preaeliers, to teach gratis all tliat will attend and have a 
capacity to learn, from 6 o'clock in the morning till 10 f>nd from 2 p. m. 
till 6, where it does not interfere with public worship. Tlie council 
shall compile a proper school-book to teach them learning and piety." 
The experiment was made, but it proved unsuccessful and was discon- 
tinued. The number of colored members this year was 11,682. 

The first Baptist church in this country was founded in Pi'ovidence, 
R. I., by Roger Williams in 1639. Nearly one hundred years after the 
settlement of America "only seventeen Baptist churches had arisen in 
it." The Baptist church in Charleston, S. C, was founded in 1690. 
The denomination advanced slowly through the middle and Southern 
States, and in 1790 it had churches in them all. Revivals of religion 
were enjoyed, particularly one in Virginia, which commenced in 1785 
and continued until 1791 or 1792. "Thousands were converted and bap- 
tized, besides many who joined the Methodists and Presbyterians. A 
large number of Negroes were admitted to the Baptist Churches during 
the seasons of revival, as well as on ordinary occasions. They were, 
however, not gathered into churches distinct from the whites south of 
Pennsylvania except in Georgia." 

"In general the Negroes were followers of the Baptists in Virginia, 
and after a while, as they permitted many colored men to preach, the 
great majority of them went to hear preachers of their own color, 
whicii was attended with many evils." 


"Towards the close of 1792 the first colored Baptist Church in the 
city of Savannah began to build a place of worship. The corporation 
of the city gave them a lot for the purpose. The origin of this church 
— the parent of several others — is briefly as follows: 

George Leile or Lisle, sometimes called George Sharp, was born in 
Virginia about 1750. His master sometime before the American war 
removed and settled in Burke county, Georgia. Mr. Sharp was a Bap- 
tist and a deacon in a Baptist church, of which Rev. Matthew Moore 
was pastor. George was converted and baptized under Mr. Moore's 
ministry. The church gave him liberty to preach."* 

About nine months after George Leile left Georgia, Andrew, sur- 
named Bryan, a man of good sense, great zeal, and some natural elo- 
cution, began to exiiort his black brethren and friends. He and his 
followers were reprimanded and forbidden to engage further in re- 
ligious exercises. He would, however, pray, sing, and encourage his 
fellow-worshippers to seek the Lord. Their x^ersecution was carried 
to an inhuman extent. Their evening assemblies were broken up and 
those found present were punished with stripes! Andrew Bryan and 
Sampson, iiis brother, converted about a year after him, were twice 
imprisoned, and they with about fifty others were Avhipped. When 
publicly whipped, and bleeding under liis wounds, Andrew declared 
that he rejoiced not only to be whipped, but would freely suffer death 
for tiie cause of Jesus Christ, and tiiat while he had life and oppor- 
tunity he would continue to i^reach Christ. He was faithful to his 
vow and, by patient continuance in well-doing, lie put to silence and 
shamed his adversaries, and influential advocates and patrons were 
raised up for him. Liberty was given Andrew bj^ the civil authority 
to continue his religious meetings under certain regulations. His 
master gave him the use of liis barn at Brampton, three miles from 
Savannah, where he preached for two years witli little interruption. 

The African church in Augusta, Ga., was gathered by the labors of 
Jesse Peter, and was constituted in 1793 by Rev. Abraham Marsliall 
and David Tinsley. Jesse Peter was also called Jesse Golfln on ac- 
count of his master's name — living twelve miles below Augusta. 

The number of Baptists iu the United States this year was 73,471, 
allowing one-fourth to be Negroes the denomination would embrace 
between 18,000 and 19,000. 

The returns of colored members in tlie Methodist denomination from 
1791 to 1795, inclusive, were 12,884, 13,871, 16,227, 13,8U, 12,179. 

The Methodists reported in 1796, 11,280 colored members. The re- 
capitulation of the numbers for 1797 is given by states: 

■See infra. 



Massachusetts 8 

Rhode Island 2 

Connecticut 15 

New York 2:J8 

New Jersey 127 

Pennsylvania 198 

Delaware 828 

Maryland 5,106 

Virginia 2,490 

North Carolina 2,071 

South Carolina 890 

Georgia 148 

Tennessee 42 

Kentucky 57 

Making a total of 12,215 Negroes; nearly one-fourth of the whole 
number of members were colored. There were three only in Canada. 

The year 1799 is memorable for the commencement of that extra- 
ordinary awakening- which, taking its rise in Kentucky and spread- 
ing in various directions and with different degrees of intensity, 
was denominated "the great Kentucky revival." It continued for 
about four years, and its influence was felt over a large portion of 
the Southern States. Presbyterians, Methodists, and Baptists par- 
ticipated in this work. In this revival originated camp-meetings, 
which gave a new impulse to Methodism. From the best estimates the 
number of Negroes received into the different communions during 
this season must have been between four and five thousand. 

In 1800 there were in connection with the Methodists i;5,452 Negroes. 
The bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Cliurch were authorized to 
ordain African preachers in places where there were houses of worship 
for their use, who might be chosen by a majority of the male mem- 
bers of the society to which they belonged and could procure a rec- 
ommendation from the preacher in charge and his colleagues on the 
circuit to the ofRce of local deacons. Richard Allen, of Philadelpliia, 
was the first colored man who received orders under this rule. 

"The fact, however, is worthy of remembrance that, while the 
Indians — some of whom received us as guests and sold us their land at 
almost no compensation at all, and others were driven back to make us 
room, and with whom we had frequent and bloody wars, and we 
became, from time to time, mutual scourges— received some eminent 
missionaries from the colonists, and had no inconsiderable interest 
aAvakened for their conversion; the Africans who were brought over 
and bought by us for servants, and who wore out their lives as such, 
enriching thousands from Massachusetts to Georgia, and were members 
of our households, never received from the colonists themselves a soli- 
tary missionary exclusively devoted to their good, nor was there ever a 
single society established within the colonies, that we know of, with 
the express design of promoting their religious instruction!" 

8. The Sects and Slavery. The approach of the Revolution brought 
heart-searching on many subjects, and not the least on slavery. The 
agitation was noticeable in the legislation of the time, putting an end 
to slavery in the North and to the slave-trade in all states. Religious 


bodies particularly were moved. In 1657 George Fox, founder of the 
Quakers, had impressed upon his followers in America the duty of 
converting the slaves, and he himself preached to them in the West 
Indies. The Mennonite Quakers protested against slavery in 1688, and 
from tliat time until the Revolution the body slowly but steadily 
advanced, step by step, to higher ground until they refused all fellow- 
siiip to slaveholders. Radical Quakers, like Hepburn and Lay, attacked 
religious sects and Lay called preachers ''■a sort of devils that preacli 
more to liell than they do to heaven, and so they will do forever as 
long as they are suffered to reign in the worst and mother of all sins, 

In Virginia and North Carolina this caused much difficulty owing to 
laws against manumission early in the nineteenth century, and the 
result was wholesale migration of the Quakers.* 

Judge Sewall, among the Massachusetts Congregationalists, had 
declared, in 1700, that slavery and the slave-trade were wrong, but his 
protest was unheeded. Later, in 1770 and after, strong Congregational 
clergymen, like Samuel Hopkins and Ezra Stiles, attacked slavery, 
but so democratic a cliurch could take no united action. Altliough 
Whitefield came to defend the institution, John Wesley, founder of 
the Methodists, called the slave-trade the ''•sum of all villanies," and 
the General Conference in America, 1780, declared slavery ''contrary 
to the laws of God, man, and nature and hurtful to society." From 
this high stand, however, the church quickly and rather ignominiously 
retreated. By 1780 it only sought the destruction of slavery "by all 
wise and prudent means," while preachers were allowed to hold their 
slaves in slave states. In 1787 the General Conference urged preachers 
to labor among slaves and receive wortliy ones into full membersliip 
and "to exercise the whole Methodist discipline among tiiem." 
Work was begun early among the slaves and they had so many mem- 
bers that their churches in the south were often called Negro churches. 
The church yielded further ground to the pro-slavery sentiment in 
1816, but in 1844 the censure of a bishop wlio married a slaveholder 
rent the church in twain on the question. 

The Baptists had Negro preachers for Negro members as early as 
1773. They were under the supervision of whites and had no voice in 
general church affairs. The early Baptists held few slaves, a.nd they 
were regarded as hostile to slavery in Georgia. The Philadelphia Asso- 
ciation approved of abolition as early as 1789, and a Virginia Associa- 
tion urged emancipation in the legislature about tlie same time. In 
Kentucky and Ohio the Baptist Associations split on the question. 
The Baptists early interested themselves in the matter of slave mar- 
riages and family worship, and especially took spiritual care of the 
slaves of their own members. They took a stand against the slave- 

'■'■Cf. Week's Southern Quakers and Slavery ; Thomas: Attitude, etc. 


trade iti 1818 and ISou. After tlie division on the su))ject of missions 
the Missionary Baptists began active i^roselyting among the slaves. 

Tlie Presbyterian Synod of 17S7 recommended efforts looking toward 
gradual emancipation, and in 1795 the question of excluding slave- 
holders was discussed, but it ended in an injunction of "brotherly 
love" for them. In 1815, 1818, and 1835 the question was dismissed and 
postponed, and finally in 1845 the question was dropped on the ground 
that Christ and the Apostles did not condemn slavery. At the time of 
the war the church finally divitied. 

9. Toussaint L'Ouverture and Nat Turner. 

"The role which the great Negro Toussahit, called L'Ouverture, played in the 
history of the United States has seldom been fully appreciated. Representing 
the age of revolution in America, he rose to leadership through a bloody terror, 
which contrived a Negro "problem" for the Western hemisphere, intensified and 
defined the anli-slavery movement, became one of the causes, and probably the 
pi-ime one. which led Napoleon to sell Louisiana for a song; and, finally, through 
the interworking of all these effects, rendered more certain the final prohibition 
of the slave-trade by the United States in 1807."* 

Tlie effect of the revolution on tlie religious life of the Negro was 
quickly felt. In 1800, South Carolina declared: 

"It shall not be lawful for any number of slaves, free Negroes, mulattoes, or 
mestizoes, even in company with white persons, to meet together and assemble 
for the purpose of mental instruction or religious worship, either before the rising 
of the sun or after the going down of the same. And all magistrates, sheriffs, 
militia otficers, etc., etc., are hereby vested w'ith power, etc., for dispersing such 
assemblies." t 

On petition of tlie wliite churclies the rigor of this law was slightly 
abated in 1803 by a modification which forbade any person, before 9 
o'clock in the evening, "to break into a place <-)f meeting wherein shall 
be assembled tlie members of any religious society in tliis State, pro- 
vided a majority of them shall be wMiite persons, or otherwise to dis- 
tnrlj their devotions unless such persons, etc., so entering said place [of 
worship] shall first liave obtained from some magistrate, etc., a war- 
rant, etc., in case a magistrate shall be then actually within a distance 
of three miles from such place of meeting; otlierwise the provisions, 
etc., [of the Act of 1800] to remain in full force. "t 

So, too, in Virginia the Haytiaii revolt and the attempted insurrec- 
tion under (Jabriel in 1800 led to the Act of 1804, which forbade all 
evening meetings of slaves. This was modified in 1805 so as to allow a 
slave, in company with a white person, to listen to a wiiite minister in 
tlie evening. A master was "allowed" to employ a religious teacher 
for liis slaves. § Mississippi passed similar restrictions. 

*DuBois' Suppression of the Slave-Trade, p. 70. t Stroud, 0:!-4 ; Goodell, 32i). 
tC.oodcll, ;>2'.». § Stroud, i»4 ; Ballagh, 95. 


By 1822 the rigor of the South Carolina laws in regard to Negro 
meetings had abated, especially in a city like Charleston, and one of 
the results was the Vesey plot. 

" The sundry religions classes or congregations, with Negro leaders or local 
preachers, into which were formed the Negro members of the various churches of 
Charleston, furnished Vesey with the first rudiments of an organization, and at 
the same time with a singularly safe medium for conducting his underground 
agitation. It was customary, at that time, for these Negro congregations to meet 
for pttrposes of worship entirely free from the presence of whites. Such meetings 
were afterwards forbidden to be held except in the presence of at least one repre- 
sentative of the dominant race. But during the three or four years prior to the 
year 1822 they certainly offered Denmark Vesey regular, easy and safe opportuni- 
ties for preaching his gospel of liberty and hate. And we are left in no doubt 
whatever in regard to the uses to which he put those gatherings of blacks. 

"Like many of his race, he pcssessed the gift of gab, as the silver in the tongue 
and the gold in the full or thick-lipped mouth are oftentimes contemptuously 
characterized. And, like many of his race, he was a devoted student of the Bible, 
to whose interpretation he brought, like many other Bible students not confined 
to the Negro race, a good deal of imagination and not a little of superstition, 
which, with some natures, is perhaps but another name for the desires of the 
heart. Thus equipped, it is no wonder that Vesey, as he poured over the Old 
Testament scriptures, found many points of similitude in the history of the Jews 
and that of the slaves in the United States. They were both peculiar peoples. 
They were both .Jehovah's i^ecnliar peoples, one in the past, the other in the pres- 
ent. And it seemed to him that as Jehovah bent his ear, and bared his arm once 
in behalf of the one, so would he do the same for the other. It was all vividly 
real to his thought, I believe, for to his mind thus had said the Lord. 

"He ransacked the Bible for apposite and terrible texts whose commands in the 
olden times, to the olden people, were no less imperative upon the new times and 
the new people. This new people was also commanded to arise and destroy their 
enemies and the city in which they dwelt, ' both man and woman, young and old, 
with the edge of the sword.' Believing superstitiously as he did in the stern and 
Nemesis-like God of the Old Testament he looked confidently for a day of venge- 
ance and retribution for the blacks. He felt, I doubt not, something peculiarly 
applicable to his enterprise and intensely personal to himself in the stern and ex- 
ultant prophecy of Zachariah, fierce and sanguinary words, which were constantly 
in his mouth: 'Then shall the Lord go forth and fight against those nations as 
when he fought in the day of battle.' According to Vesey's lurid exegesis 'those 
nations' in the text meant beyond peradventure the cruel masters and Jehovah was 
to go forth to fight against them for the poor slaves and on whichever side fought 
that day the Almighty God on that side would assuredly rest victory and deliverance. 

"It will not be denied that Vesey's plan contemplated the total annihilation of 
the white population of Charleston. Nursing for many dark years the bitter 
wrongs of himself and race had filled him without doubt with a mad spirit of re- 
venge and had given to him a decided predilection for shedding the blood of his op- 
pressors. But if he intended to kill them to satisfy a desire for vengeance he in- 
tended to do so also on broader ground. The conspirators, he argued, had no choice 
in the matter, but were compelled to adopt a policy of extermination by the neces- 
sity of their position. The liberty of the blacks was in the balance of fate against 
the lives of the whites. He could strike that balance in favor of the blacks only by 


the total destruction of the whites. Therefore tlie whites, men, women, and chil- 
dren, were doomed to death."* 

The plot was well-laid, but the conspirators were betrayed. Less 
than ten years after this plot was discovered and Vesey and his asso- 
ciates hanged, there broke out the Nat Turner insurrection in Virginia. 
Turner was himself a preacher. 

" He was a Christian and a man. He was consciovis that he was a Man and not 
a 'tiling;' therefore, driven by religious fanaticism, he undertook a difficult and 
bloodj' task. Nathaniel Turner was born in Southampton county, Virginia, Octo- 
ber 2, 1800. His master was one Benjamin Turner, a very wealihy and aristocratic 
man. He owned many slaves, and was acruel and exacting master. Young 'Nat' 
was born of slave parents, and carried to his grave many of the superstitions and 
traits of his father and mother. The former was a preacher, the latter a 'mother 
in Israel.' Both were unlettered but, nevertheless, very pious people. The mother 
began when Nat was quite young to teach him that he was born, like Moses, to be 
the deliverer of his race. She would sing to him snatches of wild, rapturous songs 
and repeat portions of prophecy she had learned from the preachers of those times. 
Nat listened with reverence and awe, and believed everything his mother said. He 
imbibed the deep religious character of his parents, and soon manifested a desire 
to preach. He was solemnly set apart to 'the gospel ministry' by his father, the 
church, and visiting preachers. He was quite low in stature, dark, and had the 
genuine African features. His eyes were small, but sharp, and gleamed like fire 
when he was talking about his 'mission' or preaching from some prophetic pas- 
sage of scripture. It is said that he never laughed. He was a dreamy sort of a 
man, and avoided the crowd. Like Moses he lived in the solitudes of the mountains 
and brooded over the condition of his people. There was something grand to him 
in the rugged scenery that nature had surrounded him with. He believed that he 
was a prophet, a leader raised up by God to burst the bolts of the prison-house and 
set the oppressed free. The thunder, the hail, the storm-cloud, the air, the earth, 
the stars, at which he would sit and gaze half the night all spake the language of 
the God of the oppressed. He was seldom seen in a large company, and never 
drank a drop of ardent spirits. Like John the Baptist, when he had delivered his 
message, he would retire to the fastness of the mountain or seek the desert, where 
he could meditate upon his great work." t 

In the impression of the Richmond Enquirer of the 30th of August, 
1831, the first editorial or leader is under the caption of "The Banditte." 
The editor says : 

"They remind one of a parcel of blood-thirsty wolves rushing down from the 
Alps ; or, rather like a former incursion of the Indians upon the white settlements. 
Nothing is spared; neither age nor sex respected — the helplessness of women and 
children pleads in vain for mercy. . . . The case of Nat Turner warns us. No 
black man ought to be permitted to turn preacher through the country. The law 
must be enforced — or the tragedy of Southampton appeals to us in vain." J 

Mr. Gray, the man to whom Turner made his confession before dying, 
said : 

'•'Grimkc: Right on the Scaffold (Pub. American Negro Academy), pp. 11-12. 
t Williams II, pp. 85-86. I Quoted iu Ibid, p. 90. 


" It has been said that he was ig^norant and cowardly and that his object was to 
murder and rob for the purpose of obtaining money to make liis escape. It is no- 
torious that he was never known to liave had a dollar in his life, to swear an oath or 
drink a drop of spirits. As to his ignorance, he certainly never had the advantages 
of education, but he can read and write, and for natural intelligence and quick- 
ness of apprehension is surpassed by few men I have ever seen. As to his being a 
coward, his reason as given for not resisting Mr. Phipps, shows the decision of his 
character. When he saw Mr. Phipps present his gun, he said he knew it was im- 
possible for him to escape as the woods were full of men. He, therefore, thought 
it was better for him to surrender and trust to fortune for his escape. 

" He is a complete fanatic or plays his part most admirably. On other subjects 
he possesses an uncoiumon share of intelligence, with a mind capable of attaining 
anything, but warped and perverted by the influence of early impressions. He is 
below the ordinary stature, though strong and active, having the true Negro face, 
every feature of which is strongly marked. I shall not attempt to describe the 
effect of his narrative, as told and commented on by himself, in the condemned 
hole of the prison; the calm, deliberate composure with wdiich he spoke of his 
late deeds and intentions; the expression of his fiend-like face when excited by 
enthusiasm, still bearing the stains of the blood of the helpless innocence about 
him, clothed with rags and covered with chains, yet daring to raise his manacled 
hand to heaven, with a spirit soaring above the attributes of man. I looked on him 
and the blood curdled in my veins."* 

The Turner insurrection is so connected with the economic revolution 
which enthroned cotton that it marks an epoch in the history of the 
slave. A wave of legislation passed over the South prohibiting the 
slaves from learning to read and write, forbidding Negroes to preach, 
and interfering with Negro religious meetings. Virginia declared, in 
IHHl, that neither slaves or free Negroes migiit preach, nor could they 
attend religious service at night without permission. In North Carolina 
slaves and free Negroes were forbidden to preach, exhort or teach ''in 
any prayer-meeting or other association for worship where slaves of 
different families are collected together" on i:)enalty of not more than 
thirty-nine lashes. Maryland and Georgia had similar laws. The Mis- 
sissippi law of 1831 said : It is '•'unlawful for any slave, free Negro, or 
mulatto to preach the gospel" upon pain of receiving thirty-nine lashes 
upon the naked back of the presumptuous preaclier. If a Negro received 
written permission from his master he might preach to the Negroes in 
his immediate neighljorhood, providing six respectable white men, 
owners of slaves, were present.! In Alal^ama the law of 1882 prohibited 
the asseml)ling of more than five male slaves at any place off the plan- 
tation to which they belonged, but nothing in the act was to be consid- 
ered as forbidding attendance at places of public worship held by white 
persons. No slave or free person of color was permitted to "preach, ex- 
hort, or harrangue any slave or slaves, or free persons of color, except 
in the presence of five respectal)le slaveholders or unless the person 

* Williams 11, ])p. 91-92. 
t Williams II, 10:3. 


preach in J? was licensed l)y some regular body of professing Christians 
in the neighborhood, to whose society or church the Negroes addressed 
properly belonged." 

In the District of Cohnnl)ia the free Negroes began to leave white 
churches in hS81 and to assemble in their own. 

10. Third Period of Missionary Enterprise. The efforts to convert Ne- 
groes in America fall in tliree main i^eriods. The first period was early in 
the eighteenth century after it was decided that baptism did not free 
slaves. Results at this time were meagre, and the effort spasmodic. A 
second period came about the time of the Revolution, and had larger I'e- 
sults. C C Jones says of the conditions, 1790-1820, that: 

"It is not too much to say that the religious and physical condition of the Ne- 
groes were both imijroved during this period. Their increase was natural and 
regular, ranging every ten years, between 34 and 36 per cent. As the old stock 
from Africa died out of the country the grosser customs, ignorance and paganism 
of Africa, died with them. Their descendants, the country-born, were better look- 
ing, more intelligent, more civilized, more susceptible of religious imjjressions. 

"On the whole, however, but a minority of the Negroes, and that a small one, 
attended regularly the house of God. and taking them as a class, their religious 
instruction was extensively and most seriously neglected." 

The third period followed after the depression of the thirties. This 
depression was severe, and lasted nearly twenty years. 

The Presbyterian Synod of South Carolina and Georgia, in 1888, pub- 
lished a statement in which they said of the slaves: 

" There are over two millions of human beings in the condition of heathen and 
some of them in a worse condition. They may justly be considered the heathen 
of this country, and will bear a comparison with heathen in any country in the 
world. The Negroes are destitute of the gospel, and ever will be under the present 
state of things. In the vast field extending from an entire state beyond the Po- 
tomac, [i. e., Maryland], to the Sabine river [at the time our southwestern bound- 
ary] and from the Atlantic to the Ohio, there are, to the best of our knowledge, 
not twelve men exclusively devoted to the religious instruction of the Negroes. In 
the present state of feeling in the South, a ministry of their own color could 
neither be obtained nor tolerated. But do not the Negroes have access to the gospel 
through the stated ministry of the whites? We answer, no. The Negroes have no 
regular and efficient ministry : as a matter of course, no churches ; neither is there 
sufficient room in the white churches for tlieir accommodation. We know of but 
five churches in the slaveholding states, built expressly for their use. These are all 
in the state of Georgia. We may now inquire whether they enjoy the privileges of 
the gospel in their own houses, and on our plantations? Again we return a nega- 
tive answer. They have no Bibles to read by their own firesides. They liave no 
family altars; and when in affliction, sickness or death, they have no minister to 
address to them the consolations of the gospel, nor to bury them with appropriate 
services." * 

The Presbyterian Synod of Kentucky, in 1884, said : 

* Gooilfll, pp. ;S33-5. 


'■ Slavery deprives its subjects, in a great measure, of the privileges of the gospel. 
Tlie law, as it is here, does not prevent free access to the scriptui-es; but ignorance, 
the natural result of their condition, does. The Bible is before them. But it is to 
them a sealed book. Very few of them enjoy the advantages of a regular gospel 

The Synod of South Carolina and Georgia returned to the suhject, in 
1834, and declared : 

" The gospel, as things now are, can never be preached to the two classes (whites 
and blacks) successfully in conjunction. The galleries or back seats on the lower 
floor of white churches are generally appropriated to the Negroes, when it can be 
done without inconvenience to the whites. When it cannot be done conveniently, 
the Negroes must catch the gospel as it escapes through the doors and windows. 
If the master is pious, the house servants alone attend family worship, and fre- 
quently few or none of them.while the field hands have no attention at all. So as far 
as masters are engaged in the work [of religious instruction of slaves], an almost 
unbroken silence reigns on this vast field."* 

To this the Rev. C. C. Jones, of Georgia, adds: 

"We cannot cry out asainst the Pa]>ists for withholding the scriptures from the 
common people, and the keeping them in ignorance of the way of life, for we with- 
hold the Bible from our servants, and keep them in ignorance of it, while we will 
not use the means to have it read and explained to them." * 

In 1838 the Methodist Conference of South Carolina appointed a mis- 
sionary to lahor among the colored people, but the enterprise was soon 
stippressed by the prinei|)al citizens. The Greenville (S. C.) Mountaineer 
of November 2, 1838, contained tlie particulars: A committee was ap- 
pointed, who addressed a note to the missionary, requesting him to 
desist. This was backetl up by James S. Pope and 352 others. The 
document argues at length tlie incompatibility of slavery with the 
"mental improvement and religious instruction " of slaves. "Verbal 
instruction," say they, "will increase the desire of tlie black population 
to learn. We know of upwards of a dozen Negroes in the neighborhood 
of Cambridge who can now read, some of whom are members of your 
societies at Mount Lebanon and New Salem. Of course, when they see 
themselves encouraged, they will supply themselves with Bibles, hymn 
books, and catechisms ! Open the missionary sluice, and the current 
will swell in its gradual onward advance. We thus expect that a pro- 
gressive system of improvement will be introduced, or will follow^ from 
the nature and force of circumstances, and, if not cliecked (though they 
maybe shrouded in sophistry and disguise), will ultimately revolution- 
ize our civil institutions. We consider the common adage tliat 'knowl- 
edge is power,' and as the colored man is enlightened, his condition will 
be rendered more itnliappy and intolerable. Intelligence and slavery 
have no affinity with each other." The document refers to the laws of 
the state, and hopes that "South Carolina is yet true to her vital inter- 
ests," etc., etc.t 

• Joues, 167-S ; Goodell, p. 335-6. t Goodell, p. 336-7. 


Bishop Capers testifies about this time that tliere was the most urgent 
need for preaching among Negroes. Of the Negroes around Wihning- 
ton, N. C, he says: "A numerous popuhition of this class in that town 
and vicinity were as destitute of any public instruction (or, probably, 
instruction of any kind as to spiritual things) as if they had not been 
believed to be men at all, and their morals were as depraved as, with 
such a destitution of the gospel among them, might have been expected." 
To this state of things the masters were indifferent; for, adds the bish- 
op, "it seems not to liave been considered that such a state of things 
might furnish motives sufficient to induce 2:)ure-minded men to engage, 
at great inconvenience or even personal liazard, in the work of improv- 
ing tliem." Such work, on the other hand, seems to have been regarded 
as unnecessary, if not unreasonable. Conscience was not believed to 
be concerned. 

As the result of such appeals a reaction set in about 1835, and the 
Methodists and Baptists especially were active among the slaves. A 
minister in Mississippi testified that he had charge of the Negroes of 
five plantations and three hundred slaves; another in Georgia visited 
eighteen plantations every two weeks. "The owners have built three 
good churches at their own expense, all framed ; 290 members have 
been added, and about 400 children ar;^ instructed." Another travel- 
ing minister declared, in 1841, that in many places, like Baltimore, Al- 
exandria, and Charleston, the Negroes had large, spacious churclies, 
and he thinks there were 500,000 Negro cliurch members at the time, 
which is probably an exaggeration. 

Charles C. Jones writes, in 1842, tliat: 

"The Negro race has existed hi our country for two hundred and twenty-two 
years, in which time tlie gospel has been brought within the reach of, and been 
communicated to, muUitudes. 

"While there have been but few societies, and they Hmited in extent and iiiHu- 
ence, formed for the special object of promoting the moral and religious instruc- 
tion of the Negroes, and while there have been comparatively but few mission- 
aries exclusively devoted to them, yet they have not been altogether overlooked 
by their owners, nor neglected by the regular ministers of the various leading 
denominations of Christians, as the facts adduced in this sketch testify. 

"Yet it is a remarkable fact in the history of the Negroes in our country that 
their regular, systematic religious instruction has never received in the churches 
at any time that general attention and effort which it demanded, and the people 
have consequently been left, both in the free and in the slave states, in great 
numbers, in moral darkness, and destitution of the means of grace." 

"In 1848 an enterprise was begun for the more thorough-going evangelization 
of the colored people in Charleston, S. ('., under the auspices of the Kev. Dr. .1. B. 
Adger and the session of the Second Presbyterian church. In 1859 a church 
building costing $25,000, contributed by the citizens of Charleston, was dedicated. 
From the first the great building was filled, the blacks occupying the main floor, 
and the whites the galleries, which seated tw^o hundred and fifty persons. The 
Rev. Dr. .1. L. (lirardeau, one of the greatest preachers in the South, was for years 


the pastor of this church. The close of the war found it with exactly five hundred 
colored members, and nearly one hundred white."* 

There were thirteen colored churches in Baltimore in 18-17, supported 
largely, but not altogether, by free Negroes. In 1854 one-fourth of the 
slaves of South Carolina were said to be Methodists; one-third of the 
Presbyterians of that state were black, and one-half of the Baptists of 
Virginia. In 1859 there were -IGSiOOO Xegro church members reported in 
the South, of whom 215,0(.)() were Methodists and 175,000 Baptists.? 

Even at this time many restrictions on Negro religion remained. In 
Maryland camp-meetings were forbidden, and all meetings save at 
regular chiirches and with the consent of white preachers. There were 
also many local laws restricting worship. In other states the laws of 
the th-irties remained in force or were strengthened. Moreover, even 
the church organizations working among Negroes were careful in their 
metliods. The North Carolina Baptist Convention adopted a report 
concerning the religiotis instruction of tlie colored people, with a series 
of resolutions, concluding as follows: 

''Resolved, That by religious instructions be understood ver])al com- 
munications on religious subjects?"':; 

Moreover, the masters clung to the idea that the chief use of religion 
among slaves was to make them ''obey their masters." When it was 
charged that slaves were not allowed to read tlie Bil)le, one naive 
answer was that it was read to them, especially "'those very passages 
which inculcate the relative duties of masters and servants." 

An intelligent Negro, Lundsford Lane, thus describes the religious 
instruction of slaves: 

" I was permitted to attend church, and this I esteem a great blessing. It was 
there I received much instruction. w4iich I trust was a great benefit to me. I 
trusted, too, that I had experienced the renewing influences of divine grace. I 
looked upon myself as a great sinner before God, and upon the doctrine of the 
great atonement, through the suffering and death of the Savior, as a source of 
continual joy to my heart. After obtaining from my mistress a written permit, a 
thing always required in such cases, I had been baptized and received into fellow'- 
ship with the Baptist denomination. Thus in religious matters I had been in- 
dulged in the exercise of my own conscience ; this was a favor not always granted 
to slaves. There was one hard doctrine to which w-e as slaves were compelled to 
listen, which I found difficult to receive. We were often told by the ministers 
how much we owed to God for bringing us over from the benighted shores of 
Africa and jjermitting us to listen to the sound of the gospel. In ignorance of any 
special revelation that God had made to master, or to his ancestors, that my ances- 
tors should be stolen and enslaved on the soil of America to accomplish their sal- 
vation, I was slow to believe all my teachers enjoined on this subject. How- sur- 
prising, then, this high moral end being accomplished, that no proclamation of 
emancipation had before this been made ! Many of us were as highly civilized as 

* Campbell : Some Aspects, etc.; aud Jones, 
t (f. lugle Side Lights, pp. iT-i-'A. 
X GoodeU, p. 336. 


some of our masters, and as to piety in many instances their superiors. I was 
rather disposed to believe that God had orierinally granted me temporal freedom, 
which wicked men had taken from me— which now I had been compelled to pur- 
chase at great cost. There was one kind-hearted clergyman whom I used often to 
hear; he was very popular among the colored people. But after he had preached 
a sermon to us in which he urged from the Bible that it was the will of heaven 
from all eternity that we should be slaves, and our masters be our owners, many 
of us left him, considering, like the doubting disciple of old, 'This is a hard 
saying ; who can hear it? ' " * 

So, too, Dr. Caruthers says although many of the slaves were pious 
they owed for this "no thanks to slavery or the slave laws." Even after 
the war the reconstruction legislation of states like Mississippi sought 
especially to restrain Negro preachers and imposed, in 1865, upon 
Negroes exercising the functions of a minister without a license from a 
regularly organized church a fine of $10-$100, and liability to imprison- 
ment not more than thirty days. t 

11. The Earlier Churches and Preachers, (by Mr. John W. Cromwell). 
Tlie original colored churciies in different sections of the country 
came about in one of the following ways: 

1. They were in some cases the result of special missionary effort on 
the part of the whites. 

2. Tliey were brought about by direct discrimination against the 
blacks made by the whites during divine worship. 

3. They were the natural sequence, when, on account of increase in 
members, it became necessary for congregations to divide, whereupon 
tlie blacks were evolved as distinct churches, but still under the over- 
sight, if not the exclusive control, of the whites. 

4. They were, in not a few cases, tlie preference of colored communi- 
cants themselves, in order to get as much as possible the equal privileges 
and advantages of government denied tliem under the existing system. 

The establishment of these churches took place about the same time in 
sections more distant from each other then than now, for it was before 
the time of the railroad, the use of the steamboat or the telegraph ; so 
that their coming into existence at the same time must be attributed to 
a correspondence of general causes. 

The first regular churcli organization of which I know was a Bap- 
tist Church at Williamsburg, Va., in the year 1776. Following it were 
three Baptist Churches in tlie year 1778, one in Augusta and two in 
Savannah, Ga. ; the Episcopal Church, St. Thomas, in Philadeljihia, 
in 1791; Bethel Church, Philadelphia, in 1794; Zion Methodist Church, 
New York city, in 1796; Joy Street Baptist Church, Boston, in 1807; 
Abyssinian Baptist Church, New York, in 1808; First Baptist, St. 
Louis, 1880. 

♦ Bassett : State, pp. 51-52. 
fGarner: Kecoustruction, p. 115. 


So far as the establishment is concerned of tliose colored ^Methodist 
Churches which evolved the A. M. E. and the A. M. E. Zion denomi- 
nations, persecution by the whites was the moving cause. They were 
compelled to protect themselves against the yoke sought to be imposed 
on them, by worshipping among themselves. The one movement in 
Pliiladelphia, the other in New York, moved in parallel, often in 
rival lines. New York and Philadelphia were soon in free states and 
their metliods were those of free men, in name at least, while the 
establishment of colored Methodist Churches in the South, as in 
Maryland, under the direction of the whites, illustrated one of the 
instances of special missionary effort. 

The colored Baptist Church in the South came mostly into existence 
mainly through the tliird inciting cause mentioned. 

The Presbyterian Church, as found among the colored people, came 
about tlirough the operation of two causes: the desire of the colored 
people to be by themselves and that of the whites to strengthen their 
denomination among this class. 

The first colored Episcopal Churches, both in New York and Phila- 
delphia, resulted directly from causes similar to those which gave rise to 
the Methodist Churches in the same localities. 

Of the men mainly instrumental by reason of their i)osition as pio- 
neers in organizing these first churches in the different colored denom- 
inations a word is needed. 

First in order came Eicliard Allen. He was one of the leaders in 
the free African Society. From the members of this body came the 
leaders, almost the organization itself, both of the Bethel Methodist 
and the St. Thomas Episcopal Churches in the city of Philadelphia. 

Richard Allen was born February 12, 1760, old style, a slave in Pliila- 
delphia. At an early age he gave evidence of a higli order of talent 
for leadership. He was converted while quite a lad and licensed to 
preach in 1782. In 1797 he was ordained a deacon by Bishop Francis 
Asbury, who had been entrusted by John Wesley with the superin- 
tendence of the work in America. April 11, 1H16, at the general con- 
ference of the African Methodist Churches, held in the city of Phila- 
delphia, he was elected their first bishop. Under his administration 
the work was vigorously prosecuted in all directions. He died in 1881, 
universally lamented. 

He possessed talents as an organizer of the highest order. He was 
a born leader and an almost infallible judge of human nature. He was 
actively identified with every forward movement among the colored 
l^eople, irrespective of denomination, and died, leaving a greater influ- 
ence upon the colored people of the North than any other man of his 
times. He was one of tlie promoters, as well as one of the chief actors, 
in the first national convention of colored men in the United States 
ever held, which was in Philadelphia in the year 1830. 


Absalom Jones, who certainly comes next in point of time, was born a 
slave in Snssex, Del., November 6, 1746. At the age of sixteen he was 
taken to Philadelphia. He was married in 1770, purchased his wife, and 
afterward succeeded in ol^taining his own liberty. Like his co-laborer, 
Richard Allen, with wiiom he was associated in the African Society, 
he was quite thrifty and became the owner of several pieces of real 
estate. His education was quite limited, so mucli so that a dispensa- 
tion was necessary to admit of his ordination, to which a condition 
was annexed that this church (St. Thomas) sliould not have the 
power of sharing in the government of the Episcopal Church in the 
diocese of Pennsylvania. Rev. Wni. Douglass, subsequentl^y a rector 
of tliis church, in his ''Annals of St. Thomas Episcopal Church," says 
of Absalom Jones, that he was impressive in his style of preaching, 
though his forte was not in the pulpit. It was his mild and easy man- 
ners, his habits as a pastor, his public spirit, that strengthened him in 
public estimation. He says that ''he was of medium height, dark 
complexion, with stout frame, bland and open countenance, yet indi- 
cative of firmness. Whenever he appeared in public he donned the 
costume of the i:)rofession, black dress coat, breeches and vest of the 
same color, with top-boots or slioes with buckles and black stockings." 
After a ministry of twenty-two years, he died February 13, 1818, aged 
71 years. 

Rev. John Gloucester, the first colored minister to act as pastor of the 
first colored Presbyterian Church, was a man thoroughly consecrated to 
his cause. He possessed a fair English education, which he received 
from private sources. He was a pioneer of Presley terian ministers; 
four of his own sons, Jeremiah, John, Stephen, and James, became 
Presbyterian ministers, and from the Sunday-school of his church three 
other well known ministers went forth — Rev, Amos to Africa, Rev. H. 
M. Wilson to New York, and Rev, Jonathan C. Gibbs, who died in 
Florida after having been Secretary of State and State Superintendent 
of Schools. 

Mr. Gloucester, like Allen and Jones, was born a slave, in Kentucky, 
about the year 1776. Such was his intelligence that he was purchased 
by Rev. (lideon Blackburn, one of the leaders of the Presbyterian de- 
nomination in Kentucky. The records show that when Rev. Glouces- 
ter was ordained. Dr. Blackburn was the moderator of the presbytery. 
On the appointment of Rev. Gloucester to the first African Presbyterian 
church his master liberated him. One of the attractions of Rev. 
Gloucester was his rich musical voice that was pronounced as some- 
thing phenomenal. In prayer his power was manifest. 

His character was so simple and Cliristian that he won many friends 
of ])Oth races. He was not only jireacher, but pastor and adviser of his 
people in their temporal matters. He traveled extensively North and 
South and in nearlv everv citv, raising tlie monev with which he lib- 


erated his wife and children. He even crossed the ocean, where he 
met with great success. 

After fifteen years of sei'vice in the church, during which time it rap- 
idly increased in members, from 22 to 300, he died May 2, 1822, a victim 
of consumption, in the forty-sixth year of his age. 

Now it is not to be inferred that these were the only men deserving 
of special notice as pioneers. By no means. We allude to them because 
of their relation to the historical churches. There were Harry Hosier, 
who travelled with Bisliop Asbury, and wlio often filled appointments 
for him; Rev. Daniel C'oker of Baltimore, and Rev. Peter Spencer of 
Delaware, who organized the Protestant branch of colored Methodism. 

Circumstances were somewhat similar in other parts of the country. 
With the increase of the colored population and its distribution to 
other centers, other religious societies sprang up, so that wherever you 
find any number of these people in the earlier decades of the republic 
you find a church, often churches, out of all proportion to the popula- 

In the West, it may be stated, that colored churches were not the re- 
sult of secessions or irregular wholesale withdrawals from the white 
churches as in the East. They sprang up directly in the path of the 
westward migration of colored i^eoi^le from the South and the East. 

In the South the whites were in complete and absolute control, in 
church as in state. Colored people attended and held membership in 
the same church as the whites, though they did not possess the same 
rights or privileges. They either had special services at stated times 
or they sat in the galleries. There may have been deep protests against 
such un-Christian treatment, but we may rest assured that these were 
by no means loud, however deep. It was when this membershiiJ in- 
creased to very large numbers that separate churches for colored 
people, rather than of the colored people, were established. In the 
South, as in the North, this inembership was principally in the Bap- 
tist and Methodist churches, and to these denominations did these 
sei:)arate colored churches belong, with exceptions so rare that they 
may be named as to cities or districts where it was otherwise. 

Outside of the few ministers of the A. M. E. and the A. M. E. Zion 
churches in the border states, it is doubtful if there were a score of col- 
ored pastors in full control of colored churches in the South before the 
war. Nevertheless, there were a few colored ministers so very con- 
spicuous by their work as pioneers as to deserve special notice here. It 
is possible to refer briefly only to a few. 

Taking them in the order of time there was the Rev. George Lisle, a 
native of Virginia, the slave or body servant of a British ofHcer. 
Throughout that struggle he preached in different parts of the country. 
As one of the results of his labors we find one of the very first colored 
churches of any denomination in the country organized, especially that 


in 1788 at Savannah, Ga., by Rev. Andrew Bryan, whom Lisle had bap- 
tized. Compelled to leave the United States at the close of the war, Lisle 
went to Jamaica, where he organized a church with four members in 
1783. By 1790 he had baptized more than 400 persons on that island. 
In 1793 he l)uilt there the very first non-Episcopal religious chapel, 
to which there were belonging, in 1841, 3,700 members. That white 
Baptist missionaries subsequently went to the West Indies is to be 
attributed to Rev. Lisle's work, for they were brought there as a direct 
result of his correspondence with ecclesiastical authorities in Great 

Next we have Lott Carey, also a native of Virginia, born a slave in 
Cliarles City county, about 1780. His fatlier was a Baptist. In 1804 
Lott removed to Richmond, where he worked in a tobacco factory and 
from all accounts was very profligate and wicked. In 1807, being con- 
verted, he joined the First Baptist C'hurch, learned to read, made 
rapid advancement as a scholar, and was shortly afterwards licensed to 

After purcliasing liis family, in 1813, he organized, in 1815, the Afri- 
can Missionary Society, the first missionary society in the country, 
and within five years raised $700 for African missions. 

That Lott Carey was evidently a man of superior intellect and force 
of character is to be evidenced from the fact that his reading took a 
wide range — from political economy, in Adam Smith's Wealth of Na- 
tions, to the voyage of Captain Cook. That he was a worker as well as 
a preacher is true, for when he decided to go to Africa liis employ- 
ers offered to raise his salary from $800 to $1,000 a year. Remem- 
ber, that this was over eighty years ago. Carey was not seduced by 
such a flattering offer, for he was determined. His last sermon in 
the old First Church in Richmond must have been exceedingly pow- 
erful, for it was compared l)y an eye-witness, a resident of another 
state, to the burning, eloquent appeals of George Whitefleld. Fancy 
him as he stands there in that historic building ringing the changes 
on the word "freely," dei)icting the willingness with which he was 
ready to give up his life for service in Africa. 

He, as you may already know, was the leader of the pioneer colony 
to Liberia, where he arrived even before the agent of the Colonization 
Society. In his new home his abilities were recognized, for he was 
made vice governor and became governor, in fact, while Governor 
Ashmun was absent from the colony in this country. Carey did not 
allow his position to betray the cause of his people, for he did not 
hesitate to expose the duplicity of the Colonization Society and even 
to defy their authority, it would seem, in the interests of the people. 

While casting cartridges to defend the colonists against the natives 
in 1828, the accidental upsetting of a candle caused an explosion that 
resulted in his death. 


Carey is described as a typical Negro, six feet in height, of massive 
and erect frame, witla the sinews of a Titan. He had a square face, 
keen eyes, and a grave countenance. His movements were measured; 
in short, he had all the bearings and dignity of a prince of the blood. 

12. Some Other Ante=Bellum Preachers. Six noted Negro preachers 
have been mentioned : Nat Turner, the revolutionist; Richard Allen, the 
founder of the African Methodists; Absalom Jones, the first Negro 
Episcopal rector; Harry Hosier, the companion of Bishop Asbury; 
George Lisle, the West Indian missionary, and Lott Carey, the African 
missionary. To these may be added the names of Lemuel Haynes, 
John C'havis, Henry Evans, James Varick, Jack of Virginia, Ralpii 
Freeman, and Lnnsford Lane, forming thirteen remarkable characters. 
"Lemuel Haynes was born in Hartford, Conn., July 18, 1753. His 
father was an African, liis mother a white woman. He received the 
honorary degree of A. M. from Middlebury College in 1804. After 
completing a tiieological course lie i^reached in various places and 
settled in West Rutland, Vt., in 1788, where he remained for thirty 
years, and became one of the most popular preachers in the state. He 
was cliaracterized by subtle intellect, keen wit, and eager thirst for 
knowledge. His noted sermon from Genesis 3:4 was published and 
passed through nine or ten editions. His controversy with Hosea 
Ballou became of world-wide interest Tlie life of Lemuel Haynes 
was written by James E. Cooley, New York, 1848."* John Chavis was 
a full-blooded Negro, born in Granville county, N. C , near Oxford, in 
17(53. He was born free and was sent to Princeton, and studied pri- 
vately under Dr. Witlierspoon, where he did well. He went to Vir- 
ginia to preach to Negroes. In 180-!, in tlie county court, liis freedom 
and character were certified to and it w^as declared that he had passed 
''thi-ough a regular course of academic studies" at what is now Wash- 
ington and Lee University. In 1805 lie returned to North Carolina, 
where he in 1809 was made a licentate in tlie Presiiyterian Church and 
preached. His English was remarkably pure, his manner impressive, 
his explanations clear and concise. For a long time he taught school 
and had the best whites as pupils — a United States senator, the sons 
of a chief justice of North Carolina, a governor of the state and niany 
others. Some of his pupils boarded in his family, and his school 
was regarded as the best in the State. "All accounts agree that 
John Chavis was a gentleman," and he was received socially among 
the best whites and asked to table. In 1830 he was stopped from 
preaching by the law. Afterward he taught a school for free Negroes 
in Raleigh, t 

•-Report U. S. Bureiiu of Edacutioii, 190(J-1, p. 8.57. 

tBassett, State, North Carolina, pp. 73-6. Cf. also Ballagh : Slavery in Virginia. 


Henry Evans was a full-blooded Viro-inia free Negro, and was the 
pioneer of Methodism in Fayetteville, N. C. He found the Negroes 
tliere, about 18(X), without religious instruction. He began preaching 
and the town council ordered him away; he continued and wliites 
came to hear him. Finally the white auditoi's outnumbered the black, 
and sheds were erected for Negroes at the side of the church. The 
gathering became a regular Methodist Church, with a white and Negro 
membersliip, but Evans continued to preach. He exliibited "rare self- 
control before the most wretciied of castes! Henry Evans did much 
good, but he would have done more good had his spirit l)een untram- 
melled by tills sense of inferiority."* 

His dying words uttered us he stood, aged and bent beside his pul- 
pit, are of singular iiathos : 

"I have come to say my last word to you. It is this: None but Christ. Three 
times I have had my life in jeopardy for preaching the gospel to you. Three 
time I have broken ice on the edge of the water and swam across the Cape Fear 
to preacli the gospel to you; and, if in my last hour I could trust to that, or any- 
thing but Christ crucified, for my salvation, all should be lost and my soul per- 
isli forever." t 

Early in the nineteenth century Ralph Freeman was a slave in 
Anson county, N. C. He was a full-blooded Negro, and was ordained 
and became an able Baptist preacher. He baptized and administered 
communion, and was greatly respected. When the Baptists sjilit on 
the question of missions he sided with the anti-mission side. Finally 
the law forbade him to preach. t 

Litnsford Lane was a Negro who bought his freedom in Raleigh, N. 
(;., by the manufacture of smoking tobacco. He later became a min- 
ister and was intelligent, and had the confidence of many of the best 
people. § 

James Varick was a free Negro of New York, and is memorable as 
the first bish-oii of the Zion Methodists. 

The story of Jack of Virginia is I)est told in the wonis of a Southern 

"Probably the most interesting case in the whole South is that of an African 
preaclier of Nottoway county, popularly known as 'Uncle .lack,' whose services 
to wliite and black were so valuable that a distinguished minister of the South- 
ern Presbyterian Church felt called upon to memorialize his work in a biography. 

"Kidnapped from his idolatrous parents in Africa, he was brought over in one 
of the last cargoes of slaves admitted to Virginia and sold to a remote and ob- 
scure planter in Nottoway county, a region at that time in the backwoods and 
destitute particularly as to religious life and instruction. He was converted under 
the occasional preaching of Rev. Dr. .John Blair Smith, president of Hampden- 
Sidney College, and of Dr. Wm. Hill and Dr. Archibald Alexander of Princeton, 
then young theologues, and by hearing the scriptures read. Taught by his mas- 

* Bassett, State, North Carolina, pp. 58-9. t Ibid., loc. cit. 

J Ibid., p. 64. i Ibid. , p. ,50. Cf. p. 29. 


ter's children to read, he became so full of the spirit and knowledge of the Bible 
that he was recognized among the whites as a powerful expounder of Christian 
doctrine, was licensed to preach by the Baptist Church, and preached from plan- 
tation to plantation within a radius of thirty miles, as he was invited by over- 
seers or masters. His freedom was purchased by a subscription of whites, and he 
was given a home and a tract of land for his support. He organized a large and 
orderly Negro church, and exercised such a wonderful controlling influence over 
the private morals of his flock that masters, instead of punishing their slaves, 
often referred them to the discipline of their pastor, which they dreaded far 

"He stopped a heresy among the Negro Christians of Southern Virginia, de- 
feating in open argument a famous fanatical Negro preacher named Campbell, 
who advocated noise and " the spirit" against the Bible, winning over Campbell's 
adherents in a body. For over forty years, and until he was nearly a hundred 
years of age, he labored successfully in public and private among black and 
whites, voluntarily giving up his preaching in obedience to the law of 1832, the 
result of 'Old Nat's war.' 

''The most refined and aristocratic people paid tribute to him, and he was in- 
strumental in the conversion of many whites. Says his biographer. Rev. Dr. Wm. 
S. White: 'He was invited into their houses, sat with their families, took part 
in their social worship, sometimes leading the prayer at the family altar. Many 
of the most intelligent people attended upon his ministry and listened to his ser- 
mons with great delight. Indeed, previous to the year IS'25, he was considered by 
the best judges to be the best preacher in that county. His opinions were re- 
spected, his advice followed, and yet he never betrayed the least symptoms of ar- 
rogance or self-conceit. His dwelling was a rude log cabin, his apparel of the 
plainest and coarsest materials.' This was because he wished to be fully identified 
with his class. He refused gifts of better clothing, saying, 'These clothes are a 
great deal better than are generally worn by people of my color, and besides if I 
wear them I find I shall be obliged to think about them even at meeting.' "* 

13. The Negro Church in 1890. (From the Eleventh United States 
Census). There were in the United States in 1890, 23,462 Negro 
churches. Outside of these there were numbers of Negroes who are 
members of white churches, but they are not distinguished from 
others : 

* Ballagh, pp. 110-112. Cf. White : The Africau Preacher. 








=i . l; 


^ *<"- 

~ '" 




PI i 

5 J 






C c 









Denoniina tioiis 








Organizations in other denomina- 










ax ' 

1 a 


Regular Baptists 

Union American Methodist Epis- 

African Methodist Episcopal 

African Union Methodist Protest- 

African Methodist Zion 

(Congregational Methodist . . 
Colorecl Methodist K])iscop<al 

Zion Union AjiDStolic 

Evangelist Missionary 

rLiinl)erlanil Presbvterian 

Regular Baptists (North) 

Regular Bai)tists (South) 

Freewill Bajitists. 

Primitive Hajjl ists 

(^)ldTwo-S(M-(l in the Spirit Predes- 
tinarian Baptists 

Roman Catholic 

Ohristiaiis (Christian Connection) 


Dis<-iples of Christ 

Lutheran Syiiodical Conference 

Lutheran United Svnod in the 


Methodist Episcopal 

Methodist Protestant 

Independent Methodists 

Presbyterian (Northern) 

Presbyterian (Southern) 

Reformed Presbyterian (Synod) 

Protestant Episcopal 

Reformetl Episcopal. 



























11, .500 












41, .590 



11, .545 




















$ 9,0;^,.549 

187, (i(H) 





2,01 Kl 





























14, .517 











Organizations by States 





The United States 








District of Columbia. 





Indian Territory 














New Jersey 

New Mexico 

New York 

North Carolina .. . . 





Rhode Island 

South Carolina 






West Virginia 



28. If, 



















28,770 l'),.S(:K),0;i5 
























l,a58 114,(M4 































































$ 26,626,448 

































































We may now consider these organizations by denominations: 

Regular Baptists (Colored) 

The colored Baptists of the South constitute the most numerous 
body of Regular Baptists. Not all colored Baptists are embraced in 
this division ; only those who have separate churches, associations, and 
state conventions. There are many colored Baptists in Northern 
States, who are mostly counted as members of churches, belonging to 
white associations. None of them are included in the following tables. 

The first state convention of colored Baptists was organized in North 
Carolina in 1866, the second in Alabama, and the third in Virginia in 
1867, the fourth in Arkansas in 1868, and the fifth in Kentucky in 1869. 
There are colored conventions in fifteen states and the District of Co- 

In addition to these organizations tiie colored Baptists of the United 
States have others more general in character: The American National 
Convention, the purpose of which is ''to consider the moral, intellec- 
tual, and religious growth of the denomination,'" to deliberate upon 
questions of general concern, and to devise methods to bring the 
churches and members of the race closer together; the Consolidated 
American Missionary Convention, the General Association of the Wes- 
tern States and Territories, tlie Foreign Mission Convention of the 
United States, and the New England Missionary Convention. All ex- 
cept one are missionary in their purpose. 

The Regular Baptists (colored) are represented in fifteen states, all 
in the South, or on the border, and the District of Columbia. In Vir- 
ginia and Georgia they are very numerous, having in the latter 
200,516, and in the former 199,871 communicants. In Alabama they have 
142,487, in North Carolina 134,445, in Mississippi 136,647, in South Caro- 
lina 125,572, and in Texas 111,188 members. The aggregate is 1,348,989 
members, who are embraced in 12,683 organizations, witli 11,987 
church edifices, and church property valued at $9,038,549. There are 
414 associations, of which 66 are in Alabama, 63 in Georgia, 49 in Mis- 
sissippi, and 39 in North Carolina. 

Regrular Baptists (Colored) 



States and Territokies 

5.x ~ 

The United States 



District of Columbia 








North Carolina 

South Carolina 




West Virginia 
















































$ 9,0:38,549 





















African Methodist Episcopal 

This branch of American Methodism was organized in Baltimore 
in 1816 by a number of colored members of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. They withdrew from the parent body in order that thej^ 
might have larger privileges and more freedom of action among them- 
selves than they believed they could secure in continued association 
with their white brethren. The Rev. Richard Allen was elected the 
first bishop of the new church by the same convention that organized 
it. In the year 1787 Mr. Allen had been made the leader of a class of 
forty persons of his own color. A few years later he purchased a lot at 
the corner of Sixth and Lombard streets, Philadelphia, where the first 
church erected in this country for colored Methodists was occupied in 
1794. This site is now covered by an edifice, dedicated in 1890, valued 
at $50,000. 


In doctrine, government, and usage, tlie church does not essentially 
differ from the body from wiiich it sprang. It has an itinerant and a 
local or non-itinerant ministry, and its territory is divided into annual 
conferences. It has a general conference, meeting once every four 
years; bishops or itinerant general superintendents, elected for life, 
who visit the annual conferences in the episcopal districts to which 
they are assigned, and presiding elders, who exercise sub-episcopal 
oversiglit in the districts into which the annual conferences are divided ; 
and it has the probationary system for new members, with exhorters, 
class leaders, stewards, stewardesses, etc. 

The church in its first half century grew slowly, chiefly in the North- 
ern States, until the close of tlie war. At the end of the first decade of 
its existence it had two conferences and about 8,000 members. In 1856 
it had seven conferences and about 20,000 members; in 1866, ten con- 
ferences and 75,000 members. Bishop B. W. Arnett, the ardent and 
industrious statistician of tlie church, in noting a decrease of 343 mem- 
bers in the decade ending in 1836, in the Baltimore conference, explains 
that it was due to the numerous sales of meml^ers as slaves. Accord- 
ing to elaborate figures furnished l)y him the increase in the value of 
church property owned by the denomination was not less than .$400,- 
000 in the decade closing in 18G6, or nearly fifty per cent. In the suc- 
ceeding ten years the increase was from $825,000 to .$3,064,000, not in- 
cluding parsonages, which seem to have been embraced in the total for 
1866. According to the returns for 1890, given herewith, the valuation 
is $6,468,280, indicating an increase of .$3,404,280 in the last fourteen 
years, or 111.11 per cent. 

The church is widely distributed, having congregations in forty-one 
states and territories. Tlie states in whicli it is not represented are the 
two Dakotas, Idaho, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Vermont, 
tlie territories being Alaska, Oklahoma, and Arizona. Its members are 
most numerous in South Carolina, where there are 88,172. Georgia 
comes second, with 73,248; Alabama third, with 30,781 ; Arkansas fourth, 
with 27,956; Mississippi fifth, with 25,4,39. Tennessee has 23,718, Texas 
23,392, and Floritia 22,463. In no other state does the number reach 
17,000. The eight Southern States above given I'eport 315,169 members, 
or considerably moi'e tlian two-thirds of the entire membership of the 
church. It will )>e observed that of the 2,481 organizations only tliirty- 
one worship in lialls, school-houses, etc. All tiie rest, 2,450, own the 
edifices in whicli their meeting's are lit^il. 



African Methodist Episcopal 


States and Tekri- 












The United States 






$ (),468,280 
























































$ 242,705 










14, (XX) 

62 000 
















District of Columbia 










Indian Territory 



































New Jersey 

New Mexico 

New York 

North Carolina 

































Rhode Island 

South Carolina 






















West Virginia 










African Union Metliodist Protestant 

This body, which has a few congregations divided among eight states, 
came into existence at about the same time the African Methodist 
Episcopal Church was organized (181(5), differing from the latter 
chiefly in objection to the itinerancy, to a paid ministry, and to the 



The United States 




New Jersey 

New Yorlv 


Rhode Island 


p. ^ 












o o 








Congregational Methodist (Colored) 

Dissatisfaction with certain features of the system of polity led a 
number of ministers and members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South, to withdraw and organize a body in which laymen siiould have 
an equal voice in church government, and local preacliers sliould 
become pastors. 

This body consists of congregations of colored members organized 
into conferences by presidents of the Congregational Methodist 
Church, to whicli it corresponds in all particulars of doctrine, polity, 
usage. The only difference between the churches of the two bodies 
is, that they are composed of white and colored persons, respectively. 











^ .' 

C !- 


S tD^- 















The United States 






$ .525 











African Methodist Episcopal Zion 

A eong^regation of colored people, org-anized in New York city, in 
1796, was the nucleus of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. 
This congregation originated in a desire of colored memliers of the 
Methodist Episcopal Churcli to hold separate meetings in which they 
"might have an opportunity to exercise their spiritual gifts among 
themselves, and thereby be more useful to one another." They built a 
church, which was dedicated in 1800, the full name of the denomina- 
tion subsequently organized being given to it. 

The church entered into an agreement in 1801 by which it was to 
receive certain pastoral supervision from the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. It had preachers of its own, who supplied its pulpit in part. 
In 1820 this arrangement terminated, and in the same year a union of 
colored churches in New York, New Haven, Lo!ig Island, and Philadel- 
phia was formed, and rules of government adopted. Thus was the 
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church formally organized. 

The first annual conference was held in 1821. It was attended by 
nineteen preachers, representing six churches and 1,426 members. 
Next yeai" James Varick was chosen superintendent of the denomina- 
tion, which was extended over the states of the North chiefly, until the 
close of the civil war, when it entered the South to organize many 

In its polity lay representation has long been a prominent feature. 
Laymen are in its annual conferences as well as in its general confer- 
ence, and there is no bar to the ordination of women. Until 1880 its 
superintendents or bishops were elected for a term of four years. In 
that year the term of the office was made for life or during good beha- 
vior. Its system is almost identical with that of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, except the presence of laymen in the annual conference, 
the election of presiding elders on the nomination of the presiding 
bishop, instead of their appointment by the bishop alone, and other 
small divergences. Its general conference meets quadrennially. Its 
territory is divided into seven episcopal districts, to each of which a 
bishop is assigned by the general conference. 

Tlae church is represented in twenty -eight states and the District of 
Columbia. It is strongest in North Carolina, where it has 111,949 com- 
municants. Alabama comes next, with 79,231 communicants ; South 
Carolina third, with 45,880, and Florida fourth, with 14,791. There are 
in all 1,704 organizations, 1,587 church edifices, church property valued 
at $2,714,128, and 849,788 communicants. 


African Methodist Episcopal Zion 


States and Tebkitokies. 

The United States 






District of Columbia. 












New Jersey 

New York 

North Carolina 




Rhode' Island 

South (■ar(jlina 






















P M^- 




















02 c 






























































Colored Methodist Episcopal 

The Colored Methodist Episcopal Churcli was organized in 1870 of 
colored members and ministers of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 

Before the late civil war the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 
did a large evangelistic work among the Negroes. Bishop McTyeire, 
of that body, in his "History of Methodism," says: 

"•As a general rule Negro slaves received the gospel by Methodism 
from the same preachers and in the same churches with their masters, 
the galleries or a portion of the body of the house being assigned to 
them. If a separate building was provided, the Negro congregation 
was an appendage to the white, the pastor usually preaching once on 
Sunday for them, holding separate official meetings with their leaders, 
exhorters, and preachers, and administering discipline, and making 
return of members for the annual minutes." For the Negroes on plan- 
tations, who were not privileged to attend organized churches, special 
missions were begun as early as 1829. In 1845, the year which marks 
the beginning of the separate existence of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South, tJiere were in the Southern conferences of Methodism, 
according to Bishop McTyeire, 124,000 members of the slave popula- 
tion, and in 18(50 about 207,000. 

In 1866, after the opening of the South to Northern churches had 
given the Negro members opportunity to join the African Metliodist 
Episcopal, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion, and other Methodist 
bodies, itwas found thatof the207, 742 colored members which the church, 
South, had in 1860 only 78,742 remained. The general conference of 
1866 authorized these colored members, with their preachers, to be 
organized into separate congregations and annual conferences, and the 
general conference of 1870 appointed two bisliops to organize the col- 
ored conferences into a separate and independent church. This was 
done in December, 1870, the new body taking the name ^'Colored 
Methodist Episcopal Church." Its rules limited the privilege of mem- 
bership to Negroes, The Colored Methodist Episcopal Church has 
the same articles of religion, the same form of government, and the 
same discipline as its parent body. Its bishops are elected for life. 
One of them, Bishop L. H. Holsey, says that for some years the body 
encountered strong opposition from colored people because of its rela- 
tion to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, but that this prejudice 
has now almost entirely disappeared. 


Colored Methodist Episcopal 


States and Territories. 











35 a 






The United States 






































$ 2(54,(525 



























IMstrk't of (Columbia 








Indian Territory • 















Kentucky. . . ; 

















North Carolina 










Virginia ... ... 


Cumberland Presbyterian (Colored) 

This body was organized in May, 1869, at Murfreesboro, Tenn., under 
the direction of the General Asseml)ly of the Cumberland Presbyte- 
rian Church. It was constituted of colored ministers and members 
who had been connected with that church. Its first synod, the Ten- 
nessee, was organized in 1871, and its general assembly in 1874. It lias 
the same doctrinal symbol as the parent body and the same system of 
government and discipline, differing only in race. It has twenty- tliree 
presbyteries, and is represented in nine states and one territory. It has 
224 organizations, 183 church edifices, 12,956 communicants, and church 
property valued at $195,826. 

Cumberland Presbyterian (Colored) 



States and Tekbitokies. 

The United States 
















5 ^i' 



— C' 



>< •" s 


■S * 



















$r. .5,82(1 






$ 26,200 












































ri (— 

c 3 









14. Local Studies, 1902-3. To realize the present condition of 
churches and the chano:es in the last thirteen years, the Conference of 
1908 arranged for a number of local studies of churches: one in a 
black belt county of Georgia, another in a county of southern Ohio, a 
third in the city of Cliicago and the state of Illinois, a fourth in 
Virginia, and a fifth in Atlanta, Ga. To these studies were added the 
results of previous investigations in DeLand, Fla., Farmville, Va., and 
Philadelphia, Pa. The study in Thomas county, Ga., was made by a 
colored Congregational minister, the Rev. W.H. Holloway, a graduate 
of Talladega College. The study in Greene county. Oliio, was made by 
tlie Rev. R. R. Wright, Jr., who later made a more compreliensive 
study for the United States Bureau of Labor. Mr. Monroe N. Work, of 
the University of Chicago, studied Illinois, and the investigations in 
Atlanta were made by senior students in Atlanta University. Dr. 
Annie M. MacLean kindly furnished the study of Deland, Fla. The 
students of Virginia Union University, under the direction of Professor 
B. F. Williams, made the investigations in Virginia. 

To realize just the change in moral conditions it is instructive to 
preface tiiese studies with several verbatim paragraphs taken from the 
work of an apologist for slavery, but one who strove manfully for the 
uplift of the slaves.* The period referred to is generally the decade, 

•'C. C. Jones: Religious Instruction of Negroes, pp. 89-176, passim. 


"Persons live and die in the midst of Negroes and know comparatively little of 
their real character. They have not the immediate management of them. They 
have to do with them in the ordinary discharge of their duty as servants, further 
than this they institute no inquiries; they give themselves no trouble. The Ne- 
groes are a distinct class in the community, and keep themselves very much to 
themselves. They are one thing before the whites and another before their own 
color. Deception before the former is characteristic of them, whether bond or 
free, throughout the whole United States. It is habit, a long established custom, 
which descends from generation to generation. There is an upper and an under 
current. Some are contented with the appearance on the surface ; others dive 
beneath. Hence the diversity of impressions and representations of the moral 
and religious condition of the Negroes. Hence the disposition of some to deny 
the darker pictures of their more searching and knowing friends 

"Their general mode of living is coarse and vulgar. Many Negro houses are 
small, low to the ground, blackened with smoke, often with dirt floors, and the 
furniture of the plainest kind. On some estates the houses are framed, weather- 
boarded, neatly whitewashed, and made sutliciently large and comfortable in 
every respect 

"It is a matter of thankfulness that the owners are few in number, indeed, who 
forbid religious meetings on their plantations, held either by their servants them- 
selves, or by comjjetent and approved white instructors or ministers. 'All men 
have not faith.' I have never known servants forbidden to attend the worship 
of God on the Sabbath day, except as a restraint temporarily laid, for some flag- 
rant misconduct 

"Nor can the adult Negro acquaint himself witli duty and the way of salvation 
through the reading of the scriptures any more than the child. Of those that do 
read, but few read well enough for the edificatittn of the hearers. Not all the 
colored preachers read 

"Such, then, are the circumstances of the slave population, which have an un- 
favorable influence upon their moral and religious condition. Those circum- 
stances only have been referred to which prominently assist us in our inquiry. 
In conclusion, it may be added that servants have neither intellectual nor moral 
intercourse with their masters generally, sufficient to redeem them from the ad- 
verse influence of the circumstances alluded to; for the two classes are distinct 
in their association, and it cannot well be otherwise. Nor have servants any re- 
deeming intercourse with any other persons. On the contrary, in certain situa- 
tions there is intercourse had with them, and many temptations laid before 
them against which they have little or no defense, and the effect is deplorable." 

"To know the extent of their ignorance, even where they have been accustomed 
to the sound of the gospel in white churches, a man should make investigation 
for himself. The result will frequently surprise and fill him with grief. They 
scarcely feel shame for their ignorance on the subject of religion, although they 
may have had abundant opportunity of becoming wiser. Ignorance, they seem to 
feel, is their lot; and that feeling is intimately associated with another every 
way congenial to the natural man, namely, a feeling of irresponsibility — ignorance 
is a cloak and excuse for crime. Some wliite ministers and teachers, in their sim- 
plicity, beholding their attention to the preaching of the gospel, adapted to their 
comprehension, and hearing the expressions of their thankfulness for the pains 
taken for their instruction, come to the conclusion that they are an unsophistica- 
ted race; that they form one of the easiest and pleasantest fields of labor in the 
world; and that they are a people 'made ready, prepared for the Lord,' nothing 


more being necessary than to carry them the gospel and converts will be multi- 
plied as drops of morning dew; yea, a nation will be born in a day. Experiment 
shortly dissipates these visions, and well is it if the sober reality does not frighten 
the laborer away in disgust and disappointment 

"But a brief view of the prevailing vices of the Negroes will best reveal their 
moral and religious condition. 

" Violations of the Marriage Contract. The divine institution of marriage depends 
for its perpetuity, sacredness, and value, largely upon the protection given it by 
the law of the land. Negro marriages are neither recognized nor protected by 
law. The Negroes receive no instruction on the nature, sacredness, and perpetuity 
of the institution; at any rate they are far from being duly impressed witli these 
things. They are not required to be married in any particular form, nor by any 
particular persons. Their ceremonies are performed by their own watchmen or 
teachers, by some white minister, or as it frequently happens, not at all ; the con- 
sent of owners and of the parties immediately interested, and a public acknowl- 
edgement of each other, being deemed sufficient. 

"There is no special disgrace nor punishment visited upon those who criminally 
violate their marriage vows, except where they may be inliicted by owners, or if 
the parties be members, by the church in the way of suspension and excommuni- 

"Families are, and may be, divided for improper conduct on the part of either 
husband or wife, or by necessity, as in cases of the death of owners, division of 
estates, debt, sale, or removals, for they are subject to all the changes and vicissi- 
tudes of property. 8uch divisions are, however, carefully guarded against and 
jjrevented, as far as possible, by owners, on tlie score of interest, as well as of re- 
ligion and humanity. Hence, as may well be imagined, the marriage relation 
loses much of the sacredness and perpetuity of its character. It is a contract of 
convenience, profit, or pleasure, that may be entered into and dissolved at the 
will of the parties, and that without heinous sin, or the injury of the property or 
interests of any one. That which tliey possess in common is speedily divided, 
and the support of the wife and cliildren falls not upon the husband, but upon the 
master. Protracted sickness, want of industrial habits, of congeniality of disposi- 
tion, or disparity of age, are suttieient grounds for a separation. While there are 
creditable instances of conjugal fidelity for a long series of years and until death, 
yet infidelity in the marriage relation and dissolution of marriage ties are not 

"On account of the changes, interruptioiis and interferences in families, there 
are ciuarrelings and iightings, and a considerable item in the management of 
plantations is the settlement of family troubles. Some owners become disgusted 
and worried out, and finally leave their people to do their own way; while others 
cease from the strife ere it be meddled with, and give it as an opinion that the 
less the interference on the part of the master the better. A few conscientious 
masters persevere in attempts at reformation, and with some good degree of success. 

Polygamy is practiced, both secretly and openly. In some sections, where the 
people have been well instructed, it is scarcely known ; in others, the crime has 
diminished and is diminishing; it is to be hoped universally so. It is a crime 
which, among all people and under all circumstances, carries, in its perpetration, 
vast inconveniences and endless divisions and troubles, and they are felt by the 
Negroes as well as by others, and operate as a great preventive. Polygamy is also 
discountenanced and cheeked by the majority of owners, and by the churches of 
all denominations. 


"Uncleanness. This sin may be considered universal. Tlie declaration will be 
sufficient for those who have any acquaintance with this people in the slave- 
holding states or in the free states; indeed, with the ignorant laboring classes of 
people wherever they may be found. It is not my object to institute comparisons. 
If it were, I could point to many tongues and people, in civilized governments, 
upon the same level of depravity with the Negroes. The sin is not viewed by 
them as by those of higher intelligence and virtue, so that they do not consider 
character as lost by it, nor personal degradation as necessarily connected with it_ 
A view whicli, however it may spring from vitiated principle, preserves the guilty 
from entire prostration." 

•'Intimately connected with tliis view is the crime of 

^'InfanticuJe. A crime restrained in good measure by the provision made for the 
support of the child on the part of the owner, by the punishment in case of detec- 
tion, and by the moral degradation of the people that takes away the disgrace of 

"Theft. They are proverbially thieves. Tliey bear this character in Africa; 
they have borne it in all countries whither they have been carried; it has been the 
character of slaves in all ages, whatever their nation or color. They steal from 
each other, from their masters, from anybody. Cows, sheep, hogs, poultry, cloth- 
ing; yea, nothii.g goes amiss to which they take a fancy; while corn, rice, cotton, 
or the staple productions, whatever they may be, are standing temptations, pro- 
vided a market be at hand, and they can sell or barter them witli impunity. Locks, 
bolts, and bars secure articles desirable to them, from the dwelling of the master 
to that of the servant, and the keys must always be carried. 

''Falsehood. Their veracity is nominal. Duplicity is one of the most prominent 
traits of their character, practiced between themselves, but more especially to- 
wards their masters and managers. Their frecjuent cases of feigned sickness are 
vexatious. When criminal acts are under investigation, the sober, strenuous 
falsehood, sometimes the direct and awful appeal to God, of the transgressor, 
averts the suspicion, and by his own tact and collusion with others, perhaps 
fixes the guilt upon some innocent person. The number, the variety, and ingenuity 
of falsehoods that can be told by them in a few brief moments is astonishing. 
Where opportunity is given they will practice imposition. Servants, however, 
wlio will neither steal nor lie, may be found, and in no inconsiderable numbers. 

Quarreling and Fighting. The Negroes are settled in some (juarter of the plan- 
tation, in houses near eacli other, built in rows, forming a street. The custom is 
to give each family a liouse of its own. The houses sometimes have a partition in 
the middle and accommodate a family in eacli end. These are called double 
houses. Living so near each other, and every day working together, causes of 
differences must necessarily arise. Families grow jealous and envious of their 
neighbors; some essay to be leading families; they overhear conversations and 
domestic disagreements; become privy to improper conduct; they depredate upon 
eacli ottier; a fruitful source of tumult is the pilfering and quarreling of chil- 
dren, which involve their parents. The women quarrel more tlian the men, and 
fight oftener. Where no decisive measures are taken to suppress these practices, 
plantations sometimes become intolerable, might is right; the strong oppress the 
weak. Every master or manager has the evil under his own control. 

"They come to open breaches, too, with their neighbors on adjoining planta- 
tions, or lots, if they live in towns. The Sabbath is considered a very suitable 
day for the settlement of their difficulties. However, with truth it may be said, 
there are fewer personal injuries, and manslaughters, and murders, among tlie 


Negroes in the South, than among the same amount of population in any part of 
the United States; or perhaps, in the world. 

^'Insensibility of Heart. An ignorant and degraded people are not wont to exhibit 
much of the milk of human kindness. 

"Unless tlie Negroes are carefully watched and made accountable for power 
lodged in their hands, it will be abused. Parents will beat their children, hus- 
bands their wives, master mechanics their apprentices, and drivers the people. 
In sickness, parents will neglect their children, children their parents; and so 
with the other social relations. They cannot be trusted as nurses. Hence they 
must be made to attend upon the sick, and then watched lest they neglect them; 
which ultimately brings the whole care of the sick upon the master or manager. 
It is a saying of their own, 'that white people care more for them than their own 
color,' and again, 'that black people have not the same feeling for each other that 
white people have.' It is an indisputable fact that when Negroes become owners 
of slaves they are generally cruel masters. They will overload, work down, bruise 
and beat, and starve all working animals committed to their care, with careless 

"The moral and religious condition of town and city Negroes, may be disposed 
of in a few lines. 

"They admit of division into four classes: family servants, or those who belong 
to the families which they serve; hired servants, or those who are hired out by 
their owners to wait in families, or to any other service; servants who hire their 
own time, and work at various employments and pay their owners so much per 
day or month ; and watermen, embracing fishermen, sailors and boatmen. 

"Town and city Negroes are more intelligent and sprightly than country Negroes, 
owing to a difference in circumstances, employments, and opportunities of im- 
provement. Their physical condition is somewhat improved; and they enjoy 
greater access to religious privileges. 

"On the other hand, they are exposed to greater temptations and vices; their 
opportunities of attending upon places of pleasure and dissipation are increased; 
they have stronger temptations to theft, and idleness, and drunkenness, and 
lewdness; and the tendency to Sabbath breaking is equally great. Their moral 
and religious condition is precisely that of plantation Negroes, modified in some 
respects by peculiarities of circumstances. They are more intelligent, but less 
subordinate; better provided for in certain particulars, but not more healthy; 
enjoy greater advantages for religious improvement, but are thrown more directly 
in the way of temptation; and, on the whole, in point of moral character, if there 
be any pre-eminence it is in favor of the country Negroes; but it is a difficult 
point to decide 

"The Honorable Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, in an 'Address before the Agri-^ 
cultural Society of South Carolina,' (Charleston, 1829, second edition, pp. 10-12), 
said : 

'There needs no stronger illustration of the doctrine of human depravity than 
the state of morals on plantations in general. Besides the mischievous tendency 
of bad example in parents and elders, the little Negro is often taught by these 
natural instructors, that he may commit any vice that he can conceal from his 
superiors, and thus falsehood and deception are among the earliest lessons they 
imbibe. Their advance in years is but a progression to the higher grades of 
ini<iuity. The violation of the seventh commandment is viewed in a more venial 
light than in fashionable European circles. Their depredations of rice have been 
estimated to amount to twenty-five per cent, on the gross average of crops, and 


this calculation was made after fifty years experience, by one whose liberal pro- 
vision for their wants left no excuse for their ingratitude.' 

"The Honorable Whitemarsh B. Seabrook, in an 'Essay on the Management of 
Slaves,' Charleston, (1836, pp. 7,8, 12, etc.), says: 'As human beings, however 
slaves are liable to all the infirmities of our nature. Ignorant and fanatical, none 
are more easily excited. Incendiaries might readily embitter their enjoyments 
and render them a curse to themselves and the community. The prominent of- 
fences of the slave are to be traced in most instances to the use of intoxicating 
liquors. This is one of the main sources of every insurrectionary movement 
which has occurred in the United States, and we are, therefore, bound by interest, as 
well as the common feeling of humanity, to arrest the contagious disease of our 
colored population. What have become of the millions of freemen who once in- 
habited our widely-spread country? Ask the untiring votaries of Bacchus. Can 
there be a doubt, but that the authority of the master alone prevents his slaves 
from experiencing the fate of the aborigines of America? At one time polygamy 
was a common crime; it is now of rare occurrence. Between slaves on the same 
plantation there is a deep sympathy of feeling which binds them so plosely to- 
gether that a crime committed by one of their number is seldom discovered 
through their instrumentality. This is an obstacle to the establishment of an 
efhcient police, which the domestic legislator can with difficulty surmount.' 

"The executive committee of the Kentucky Union for the moral and religious 
improvement of the colored race, in their 'Circular to the ministers of Kentucky,* 
1834, say : 'We desire not to represent their condition worse than it is. Doubtless 
the light that shines around them, more or less illuminates their minds and mor- 
alizes their characters. We hope and believe that some of them, though poor in 
this world's goods, will be found rich in spiritual possessions in the day when the 
King of Zion sliall make up his jewels. AVe know that many of them are included 
in the visible church, and frequently exhibit great zeal ; but it is to be feared that 
it is often 'a zeal without knowledge,' and of the majority it must be confessed 
that 'the light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not.' After 
making all reasonable allowances, our colored jiopulation can be considered, at 
the most, but semi-heathen.' 

"C. W. Gooch, Es<}., Henrico county, Virginia, in a Prize Essay on Agriculture 
in Virginia, said : 

" 'The slave feels no inducement to execute his work with effect. He has a par- 
ticular art of slighting it and seeming to be busy, when in fact he is doing little or 
nothing. Nor can he be made to take proper care of stock, tools, or anything 
else. He will rarely take care of his clothes or his own health, much less of his 
companion's when sick and requiring his aid and kindness. There is perhaps not 
in nature a more heedless, thoughtless human being than a Virginia field Negro. 
With no care upon his mind, with warm clothing and plenty of food under a good 
master, is far the happier man of the two. His maxim is 'come day, go day, God 
send Sunday !' His abhorrence of the poor white man is very great. He may 
sometimes feel a reliected respect for him, in consequence of the confidence and 
esteem of his master and others. But this trait is remarkable in the white, as in 
the black man. All despise poverty and seem to worship wealth. To the losses 
which arise from the dispositions of our slaves, must be added those which are 
occasioned by their habits. There seems to be an almost entire absence of moral 
principle among the mass of our colored population. But details upon this subject 
would be here misplaced. To steal and not to be detected is a merit among them, 
as it was with certain people in ancient times, and is at this day, with some unen- 


lightened portions of mankind. And the vice which they hold in the greatest 
abhorrence is that of telling upon one another. There are many exceptions it is 
true, but this description embraces more than the majority. The numerous free 
Negroes and worthless, dissipated wliites, who have no visible means of support, 
and who are rarely seen at work, derive their chief subsistence from the slaves. 
These thefts amount to a good deal in the course of the year, and operate like 
leeches on the fair income of agriculture. They vary, however, in every county 
and neighborhood in exact proportion as the market for the plunder varies. In 
the vicinities of towns and villages they are most serious. Besides the actual loss 
of property occasioned by them, they involve the riding of their horses at night, 
the corruption of the habits and the injury of the health of the slaves ; for whiskey 
is the price generally received for them.' 

"These extracts, selected at random, are sutttcient. A multiplication of them 
would be but a tiresome repetition. After all, the best testimony, is the observa- 
tion and experience of all persons who are intimately acquainted with them. 
That the Negroes are in a degraded state is a fact, so far as my knowlege extends, 
universally conceded. It makes no difference if it be shown, as it might be, that 
they are less degraded than other portions of the human family, the fact remains 
true in respeet to them, they are degraded, and it is with this fact whicii we have 
to do 

"All approaches to them [the slaves] from abroad are rigidly guarded against, 
and no ministers are allowed to break to them the bread of life, except such as 
have commended themselves to the affection and confidence of owners. I do not 
condemn this course of self-preservation on the part of our citizens. I mention it 
only to show more fully the point in hand: the entire dependence of the Negroes 
upon ourselves for the gospel. 

"While this step is taken another has already been taken, and that of a long 
time; namely, Negro preachers are discouraged, if not suppressed, on the ground 
of incompetency and liability to abuse their office and influence to the injury of 
the morals of tlie people and the infringement of the laws and peace of the coun- 
try. I would not go all the lengths of many on this point, for from my own obser- 
vation, Negro preachers may be employed and confided in, and so regulated as 
to do their own color great good, and community no harm ; nor do I see, if we lake 
the word of God for our guide, how we can consistently exclude an entire people 
from access to the gospel ministry, as it may please Almighty God from time to 
time, as he unquestionably does, to call some of them to it 'as Aaron was.' The 
discouragement of this class of preachers, throws the body of the people still 
more in their dependence upon ourselves, who indeed cannot secure ministers in 
sufficient numbers to supply our own wants. 

"Nor have the Negroes any church organizations different from or independent 
of our own. Such independent organizations are, indeed, not on the whole advisa- 
able. But the fact binds them to us with still stronger dependence. And, to add 
more, we may, according to the power lodged in our hands, forbid religious meet- 
ings, and religious instruction on our plantations; we may forbid our servants 
going to church at all, or only to such churches as we may select for them; we 
may literally shut up the kingdom of heaven against men, and suffer not them that 
are entering to go in?' 

"The celebrated John Randolph, on a visit to a female friend, found her surround- 
ed with her seamstresses, making up a quantity of clothing. 'What work have you 
in hand?' '0,sir, I am preparing this clothing to send to the poor Greeks.' On tak- 
ing leave at the steps of the mansion, he saw some of her servants in need of the very 


clotliiniE!; which their tender-hearted mistress was sending abroad. He exclaimed : 
'Madam, madam, the (ireeks are at your door !' 

"We have colored ministers and exhorters, but their numbers are wholly inade- 
quate to the supply of the Negroes; and while their ministrations are infrequent 
and conducted in great weakness, there are some of them whose moral character 
is justly suspected and who may be considered blind leaders of the blind." 

Finally, a word must be added on the church and slave marriages in 
ante-l)ellum days. The sale of a slave away from his home and family 
''was a virtual decree of divorce and so recognized, not only by usage, 
but by the deliberate decree of tlie churches." 

"The time will come when this statement will seem almost incredible. The 
usage, considered as a barbari.'^m for which no religious defence would be possi- 
ble, is bad enough. But to give it the sanction of religion, the religion of Jesus 
Christ, and to invoke the divine blessing upon a marriage which was no marriage 
at all, but simply a concubinage which the master's word might at any moment 
invalidate, seems at first beyond all manner of excuse. Yet it was done, and that 
not only by individual ministers of Christ, but by authority of ecclesiastical con- 
ventions. The resolutions to that effect went upon record in Methodist, Baptist, 
Presbyterian churches, declaring that the separation of husband and wife under 
slavery, by the removal of either party, was to be regarded as 'civil death,' sunder- 
ing the bonds, and leaving both parties free to make another marriage contract. 
Slavery, by necessity of the case, abolished all family ties, of husband and wife, of 
parents and children, of brothers and sisters, except so far as the convenience of 
the master might be suited by their recognition. Legal sanction there was none. 
But the sham service which the law scorned to recognize was rendered by the 
ministers of the gospel of Christ. I have witnessed it, but could never bring my- 
self to take part in such pretence. 

"And yet I feel compelled by truth to say chat, among all the alleviations of 
slavery, there was none greater than this. While the nominal relation continued 
at all, it mas made sacred to the slave husband and wife, and the affectionate 
African nature was comforted and sustained by it. It was a strong motive to good 
behavior, it promoted decency in social intercourse, it tended towards keeping the 
slave-family together, and was some restraint upon masters — a great restraint upon 
the better class of them — against arbitrary separation by sale ; in short, it was one 
of the fearful anomalies of a brutal and barbarous social system existing among a 
civilized, Christian people. 

"The question was fully discussed by the Savannah River Baptist Association of 
Ministers in 1835; aud the decision was, 'that such separation, among persons 
situated as slaves are, is civilly a separation by death, and that in the sight of God 
it would be so viewed. To forbid second marriages in such case would be to ex- 
pose the parties to church censure for disobedience to their masters, and to the 
spirit of that command which regulates marriage among Christians. The slaves 
are not free agents, and a dissolution by death is not more entirely without their 
consent and beyond their control than by such separation.' 

"Truly the logic of slavery was the destruction of humanity."* 

' Eliot : Story of Archer Alexander. 


15. A Black Belt County, Georgia, (by the Rev. W. H. Holloway). 

Thomas county is situated in extreme southwest Georgia, within 
twenty miles of the nortiiern boundary line of Florida. According to 
the census of 1900, the Negro population was 17,450. Among this popu- 
lation there are ninety-eight churches. These churches represent all 
denominations, Baptist predominating, there being only two Congre- 
gational and one Episcopal church. This number gives the actual 
churches which we have been able to learn of. It will be a safe esti- 
mate to affirm that about twenty per cent, of this number may be 
added, of whicli we failed to learn. 

This will give a cliurch for every 150 persons, and here it might be 
said that, unlike much of our American population, the Negro is well- 
churched. It is his only institution and forms the center of liis public 
life. He turns to it not only for his spiritual wants, but looks toward 
it as the center of his civilization. Here he learns the price of cotton 
or the date of the next circus; here is given the latest fashion plates 
or the announcement for candidates for justice of the peace. In fact, 
the white office seeker has long since learned that his campaign among 
the Negroes must be ])egun in the Negro church, and by a Negro 

These ninety-eight institutions in Tiiomas county, like those of many 
other counties, have interesting histories. About half tliis number 
represent the churches whose beginning has been normal, the natural 
outgrowth of expansion. The otlier half's history is checkered. Their 
rise can almost invariably be traced to one or two methods. First, 
there is the proverbial ''split." A careful study of the roll of mem- 
bership in many of the churches will reveal the second method. 
Some brother is called to preach. This call is so thunderous, and the 
confidence that he can "make a better preach" tlian the present pastor 
so obtrusive, till he soon finds that there is little welcome in the sacred 
rostrum of tlie old church. He therefore takes his family and his 
nearest relatives and moves away. Study the rolls, therefore, of many 
of the churches and you will find that tliey are largely family churches, 
and that the first preacher was some venerable patriarch. I think 
one will be perfectly safe in concluding that two-thirds of the growth 
in churches of the various denominations has been made in this way; 
and that little has been accomplished by the church executives as the 
result of direct effort at church extension. 

It will be readily seen that churches having their origin in this way 
merely duplicate the old institution; often it is not a creditable dupli- 
cate. I know of no rural church in Thomas county whose inception 
had the careful nursing of an educated, cultured leader. Others have 
labored and we have entered into their labors. The largest churches 
and the biggest preachers in Thomas county do little home missionary 
work and organize no new churches. 


The result, therefore, must necessarily be a constant propagation of 
the old regime. Standards of slavery time and directly after still pre- 
vail. It is impossible that it should be otherwise. Like begets like. 

The supreme element in the old system was emotionalism, and, while 
we hate to it, truth demands that we affirm it as the predom- 
inating element to-day. The church which does not have its shouting, 
tlie cliurch which does not measure the abilities of a preacher by 
the "rousement" of his sermons, and indeed which does not tacitly 
demand of its minister the shout-producing discourse, is an exception 
to the rule. This is true of the towns as well as the country. Of course 
we all understand that it has always occupied first place in the worship 
of the Negro cliurcii ; it is a heritage of the past. In tlie absence of 
clearly defined doctrines, tlie gi'eat shout, accomi^anied with weird 
cries and shrieks and contortions and followed by a multi-varied "ex- 
perience" which takes the candidate through the most heart-rending 
scenes — tiiis to-day in Thomas county is accepted by the majority of 
the churclies as unmistakable evidence of regeneration. 

Now, the preachers wlio have had some advantages of study, who 
have come into contact with the learning of the schools, and have in 
their intelligence gotten above the ignorant preacher of the country, 
know that the old order of things is wrong. Talk with them and 
they all confess it. Confront them with the truth that it prevails in 
their own churches, and their reply puts the question upon the basis of 
supply and demand. They say: "My people have been used to it, my 
predecessor was thought to be the embodiment of perfection, and this 
was his standard; therefore, if I would succeed, if I would hold my 
people, I must supply this demand; and if I would make the record of 
my success more enduring than my predecessor I must supply this de- 
mand in greater quantities and more acceptable quality than he." 

The spirit of rivalry also has much to do with the continuance of this 
emotional feature. Two churches in the same community — one presid- 
ed over by an educated minister, with lofty ideals and correct stand- 
ards, and to whose better nature the old order is repulsive, and the 
other presided over by a typical representative of the old school : the 
educated minister will often preach unseen and waste his eloquence 
on the desert air. He soon finds that not only is his cliurch losing its 
pristine prominence, not only is his own reputation as a representative 
clergyman waning, but that there is soon a very perceptible diminution 
in the loaves and fishes. It is a problem and it is forcing young 
preachers who would otherwise do good work in the ministry into the 
old ruts which, while their better natures condemn it, they have not 
the power to resist. Any system which robs the man of his individu- 
alitj^ and makes him less than a man, finds itself early bereft of its 
power for the highest service. Anotlier effect is, that it is driving out 
of the work the young men of ability whom the work most needs. I 
know one promising young man in my county who is driven to 


desperation and vows, for none other canse than this of whicli we have 
been speaking, that he will leave the work at the next annual confer- 
ence. And, too, the young men iu our schools turn their faces toward 
other vocations. 

Under this old system, which prevails in Thomas county, the ques- 
tion arises, is the moral condition of the people being raised? 

Of the blanks which we had returned, while some said openly ''No," 
the majority left the question in doubt. 

We would conclude, however, that the moral standard of the Negroes 
in Thomas county is being bettered ; but I seriously raise the question 
whether the church is the great factor in this improvement. Speaking 
especially now of the towns, whose condition has been studied more 
carefully and at first hand, the conclusion is almost inevitable that 
there are other factors equally potent, doubtless more so, than the 

Tliis question of better morals must affect not so much the older gen- 
eration, who still occujDy a large place iu the church, as it does the 
newer and younger peoj^le. 

If this is true, then we find certain conditions in many of the churches 
which give credence to the foregoing assertion. 

I beg you to note that I am giving what is true of the majority of the 
churches of Thomas county as insinuated in the answers to the ques- 
tions sent out, supplemented by my own knowledge upon the subject. 

The first condition I would speak of is the relation of the church to 
the popular amusements. The supreme end of the church is spiritual: 
the bringing of the individual up to the higher ideals as exemplified 
in tlie life and teachings of Christ. When, therefore, the institution 
subordinates, even fora moment, this supreme end to a lower one, there 
can but be a perceptible lessening of the moral force of the institution. 
Now this is just what the church is doing. They vie with each other 
so strongly, the rivalry in new inventions and performances is so in- 
tense, till it has lead tiieminto the realm of the questionable. 

To a great extent the church has so entered into this business that 
the young people look to it more as a bureau whose object is to provide 
amusement than they do toward it as a holy institution whose high 
privilege it is to deal with eternal realities and interi)ret the weightier 
matters of the law. 

Inordinate rivalries among the denominations is another condition. 
Rivalry is no mean motive and to its stimulating influence is traceable 
much of tlie world's progress; but when the church, in its ambition to 
excel, stoops to petty meannesses, then she need not complain if her 
moral dynamic becomes a doubtful quantity. We shall not mention 
examples here, for this is a condition wliich prevails in other churches 
than the Negro's. 

The prominent place in church circles taken by characters whose 
lives in the community are a constant contradiction to the creed pre- 


scribed to when they entered the church, is another condition wliich 
lessens the moral force of the churcli. 

True, as a race, we have had neitlier time nor training to establish 
that caste which marks the higlier development in the moral code, and 
whose logical sequence is closer moral discrimination and segregation; 
yet the church, whose very motto is separation from the world, should 
have itself on record as being the most discriminating in this respect. 

The fact is, however, that some of the churclies are too lax in this 
matter. It is true in Thomas county that some of the secret societies, 
especially among women, are more vigilant as to tlieir constituencies 
than the church. I am personally acquainted with people who occupy 
first place in all the affairs in the church whose applications to the so- 
cieties have been repeatedly turned down. 

The fact that their monied connections and their popularity are 
sufficient guarantees for the success of any church enterprise, seem 
to make their fitness for church membership unquestioned. Their 
lives may be blade but no notice is paid to it. 

Now what is the effect of all this? Noth ing otlier than that the young 
people, and the older people who do their own thinking, lose I'egard 
for the moral standards of the church. The preacher may discourse 
frequently on purity of life, but if he shuts his eyes to the impurity of 
some of his own members, and seems to insist tliat they be placed at 
the forefront of the church's activities, then his precepts become 
sounding brass and tinkling cymbals; and his example, weightier by 
far than his precepts, becomes a barrier to the highest usefulness of 
his institution as a moulder of the community's morality. 

Anotlier condition which gives rise to our assertion that the churcli 
is not exercising its liighest moral influence, is seen in its lax business 
methods. Let us give one example, whicli we dare assert is true of 
nine-tenths of the churches in Thomas county and in the South: A 
contract is made with every incoming minister. They promise liim a 
stipulated sum for his year's service and when the year ends, he goes 
to conference with only about two-thirds of the pledge fulfilled. If 
he is sent back to the same field, the second year finds the church 
still deeper on the debit side of the ledger. If he is sent to another 
field the debt is considered settled, a new contract is made with the 
new preaclier, and the same form is gone tlirough. 

As far as I have been able to learn fully 76 per cent, of the churches 
in the county are in debt to their former preachers, and what is worse, 
tliere seems never to arise a question as to the honesty of the relig- 
ious body. 

Now, this may seem a too minute selection of ecclesiastical faults, 
but when it is remembered tliat the simple virtues of honesty, truth- 
fulness, and business promptness are the qualities most needed by the 
race, then tliat institution which represents the embodiment of all that 
is iierfect in its precepts loses its moral force by the laxity of its ex- 


ample, and this laxity which is characteristic of the body must find 
counterpart in the individuals who compose the body. 

We ventured the assertion that the church in this county is not too 
potent a factor in the moral betterment of the race; and we went 
further and raised the question as to whether there were not other 
factors equally potent, perhaps more so than the church. 

You will notice that I have not said that the church is doing noth- 
ing toward this betterment. Some of them are, and some of the de- 
nominations more than others; but what we are talking about is the 
weight of the combined influence of all the churches; and we still 
claim that its power is small, smaller to be sure than it should be, 
when it has such exalted example of all that is good to draw from in 
the enforcement of its teachings. 

We have been able to learn of about 120 preachers in the county. 
Of this number fully seventy-flve are either ordained or licensed. The 
most of their names appear in the minutes of the various denomina- 
tions. Now this number may be almost doubled if we search for all 
those who call themselves preachers and fill the function of interpre- 
ters of the word of God. This number moulds as great a sentiment for 
or against the church as those who hold license. 

You will get some idea of the vast host who belong to this class 
when I tell you that the records of the last conference of the South- 
west Georgia District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church show 
that there were forty-three applicants for admission to the conference. 
Note that this is only one of the four or five conferences of this church 
in the state. Be it saitl to the lasting credit of the conference that it in 
unmistakable terms put the stamp of condemnation upon the pre- 
sumption of about thirty-five of them and sent them back to their 
homes disappointed men. And yet, while it sent them back home 
unadmitted, it did not make them less determined to preach, for in 
their several communities you will find them still exercising them- 
selves in the holy calling. 

Now of this vast number, so far as I have been able to learn, only 
four of them hold diplomas from, any institution giving record of pre- 
vious fitness. Only about one per cent, of them can point to any con- 
siderable time spent in school. 

The course of study prescribed in the African Methodist Episcopal 
Church has helped some, but after all this, it can be truthfully said 
that for real fitness, fitness in the truest sense of the word, there is 
little to be found among the ministers of the county. 

Putting this another waj^ is to say, tluit the majority of the ministers 
are unlearned or ignorant men, ignorant in the sense of fitness for 
leadership; for, learned or unlearned, the Negro preacher is to-day the 
leader of the race. If they are ignorant, then this ignorance manifests 
itself in any number of ways: 


1st. His home life as a general rule is on no higher level than that 
of liis neighbor. In most cases he married before he began to preacli 
and his wife is ignorant. Here, tlien, is no toning example for tiie 
community wliich he serves. I beg you to note tliat the pulpit is not 
the only place where tlie minister is to do powerful and eloquent 

2d. In morality he has much to learn. Morality as it affects: (I) 
Temperance; (2) debt pajnng and business lionesty; (3) sexual mor- 

I liave presented a gloomy picture. I have one consolation, liowever, 
tliat it is true, if it is black. 

Your criticism will be that I have not briglitened the picture a par- 
ticle. But your conclusion will be erroneous if you decide tliat tliere 
is no briglitness in it. 

First. The greatest hope lies in the young people who go out to these 
darkened places and sacrifice themselves for tlie betterment of the 
people. Thomas county is dotted with these young people from the 

Second. Young men are seeing the need and are responding to it by 
entering the ministry. 

Third. In evei'y community there is a body of older men, men in- 
deed of the old school; but during tlie years their ideas of the func- 
tion of the church, the qualifications and requirements of the minister 
have all undergone a very radical change. They are thoroughly dis- 
gusted with the old order of things and besides withdrawing their own 
support they give their children no encouragement to support it. 

Fourth. There is also a strong tendency in my county toward the 
newer denominations. This tendency will have two results: These 
newer denominations will continue to draw the young people and will 
continue to pusli tlie crusade for religious education. Second, this 
growth and poi^ularity of the newer denominations will stimulate the 
older ones to greater efforts and to more intelligent worship. 

In tliese and other ways the race is gradually coming out of the 
darkness into the light, and the next generation will see all of the de- 
nominations of the South exerting a stronger religious and moral influ- 
uence uj^on the Negro than they are to-day doing. 

Statistics of Three Cliurclies, Tliomas County 


C. M. E. 




Active ineinbershlp 

Valvie of church 






12 TO 


2 . 50 


10, TO 








6. TO 

31. TO 




( )n debt 

Kunnlng expenses 

( 'haritv, etc 

jNIissions . 

Support of connection 
Other expenses 



$328. TO 

Negro Baptist Churclies, Tliomas County, Qa. 



Value of Church Property. 





Spring Hill 














$ 750 

$ 5(X) 

St. Mary 


Evergreen .... 




St. Paul 


N. ( ). Grove 


Oentennial. ... 





Walnut Hill 












A. B. C, Thomasville 





Mt. Pilgrim 











St. Luke 

Beulah Road 


Pinev Cirove 


Silver Hill 


Mt. Olive 


Mt. Calvary 











Oaky firove .... 











Opinions of Intelligent Colored Laymen on Thomas County Churches 

1. Condition of tiie ciuirches. 

"Well attended." "More centers for amusement than for worship." "Little 
spiritual life." "Half are in debt." "Not what they should be." "Lack compe- 
tent leaders." 

2. Influence of Churches. 

"Inliuence good." "Influence bad." "Good, on the whole." "Ten per cent, of 
the membership is honest, pure, and upright." "Influence is bad, but there are 
some earnest folks." 

3. Are the ministers good ? 

"No." "Out of ten. three are sexually Immoral, one drinks, three are careless in 
money matters." "Weak in morals." "One is sexually impure and frequents dis- 
reputable places." "Lack intellect." "They fairly represent those whom they 
lead." "Some of them are good men." 

4. Charity work. 

"Nine-tenths believe there is but one object of charity — the minister; give all 
you've got to the minister and if any one is sick or in prison, give him one-half of 
what is left." 

5. The young: people. 

"The church amuses the young people, and they pay for the amusement." 
"Young people join slowly." "Church support comes largely from non-members." 

6. Are moral standards being raised? 

"Cannot say; much laxity." "Standard never lower." "Raised by presence of 
a score or more of graduates of city schools." "Being raised." "In six years I 
note a change for the better." "Reaching high moral standards." "In some cases 
standards are being raised, in others, not." "There are fewer separations of man 
and wife, and fewer illegitimate children." 

14. A Town in Florida. (By Annie Marion MacLean, A. M., Ph. D.) 

The Negro is always an interesting subject for study in a Southern 
town, and one feels amply repaid for any effort made to understand 
his life. The town of Deland appealed to me as being an excellent 
place to make a study of the Negro population, both on account of its 
character and size. The town is largely Northern in population and 
sentiment, and it is small so that city problems do not need to be 

There are three regularly organized Negro churches in Deland. In 
and around these the religious life of the colored inhabitants centers, 
and we may study these in order of importance. 

1. Missionary Baptist Church 

This church, the largest and most flourishing in the community, is 
located on the outskirts of the town, in the best Negro district. Its 
founding dates back to 1883, when one of the prominent white citizens 
gave a lot of land and erected a small house of worship. The mem- 
bership has constantly increased since that time, and in 1895 a new 


site was purchased and the present structure put up at a cost of about 
$1,000. A parsonage was bought iuiinediately adjoining the church at 
a cost of $300, the necessary money for these improvements being 
raised by tlie members themselves. The church building is kept in 
good repair and is provided with a small organ, good, comfortable pews, 
and has carpeted aisles and plain stained glass windows. The seating 
capacity is 250, the membership 109 — forty-six male and sixty-three fe- 
male. The average attendance is about one-quarter of the total member- 
ship, and contrary to the usual state of affairs in white churches, men are 
always in the majority at the meetings. The minister's explanation of 
tliis is that the women work very hard during the week, and when Sunday 
comes they are too tired to leave their homes. He says that it is much 
easier for the women to get steady employment than for the men. No 
children are received into membership under the age of twelve years. 
The Sunday-school is well attended, and there are two fully organized 
missionary- societies — one to aid home and the other to aid foreign 
missions. The other societiesare a Young People's Society of Christian 
Endeavor and a Baptist Young People's Union, both of wliich meet in 
tlie cliurch weekly, with fair attendance. The minister is a man of 
average intelligence, his early education having been obtained in the 
public schools. He is elected by the congregation, and preaches three 
Sundays in the month at morning and evening service. The fourth 
Sunday he preaches in a small country churcli. His regular salary is 
$;iO0 a year, and from his country- charge he receives $125. In addition 
to this he has the use of the parsonage and its furnishings. When he 
was called, two years ago, the church was $250 in debt. It now owes 
but $50. 

2. Bethel Church (African .Methodist Episcopal I 

Tliis is the second largest cluirch in the community, and is located 
on tlie opposite side of the town from the one just described. It was 
organized in 1882, and has now its second building. The cliurch and 
the parsonage immediately adjoining are valued at $800 and $400, re- 
spectively. The church has not always been self-supporting, having 
from time to time received aid from the Extension Board of the 
denomination. The building is kept in very good repair, and a large 
belfry has been added during the past year. Inside is a very good small 
organ, good, plain pews, and other necessary furniture. The seating ca- 
pacity is 235, the membership ninety-three, one-quarter of which is men ; 
and the average attendance is one-third the total membership. Chil- 
dren are baj^tized and received at any age, and later, upon confession 
of faith, are confirmed. 

Among flourishing church organizations may be mentioned the 
Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor, a Christian Willing 
Working Club, which corresponds to a missionary society, and a 
Stewardesses' Board, composed of the most intelligent women in the 


cliureh. This last named society has ciiarge of all charities, church 
furnishings, and the like. The two former meet once a week, and are 
well attended. There is a well organized Sunday-school. A prayer 
service is held on Thursday of each week. 

The pastor is a remarkable Negro in many respects. He is a little 
past middle age; never attended school, and yet is by all odds the most 
intelligent of his race in the community. He was born of slave parents, 
and early in life was seized with a desire to learn. As a boy he had no 
advantages. He educated himself, "after whistle time," to use his own 
words. This is his first year in his present pastorate. He was for eight 
consecutive years presiding elder of this, the eleventh, district, which 
includes the entire state of Florida.. He is a good conversationalist, 
being well posted on the topics of the day. He spends his whole time 
in the work of this one church and in looking after his business inter- 
ests. He pays taxes on $16,000 worth of property, and has an income 
of $102 i)er month on rentals. The church pays him al)out $300 per year 
salary, and gives him the use of the parsonage. He gave his son a 
college education, and sent him through a medical course of four years. 
The son is now a physician of large practice in St. Augustine. Under 
the African Methodist Episcopal form of church government the min- 
isters are ajipointed to their charges at the annual conference. 

There are two regular Sunday services — one in the morning and one 
in the evening. The debt at present amounts to about $22S, which the 
pastor expects to pay in the near future at a "rally." 

The church has a mission about two miles distant, at a Negro set- 
tlement called Yamassee. This mission has but eight members a,nd 
holds services once a month, at which time communion is given. The 
preacher comes from a town about thirty miles distant, and is said to 
be a man of but average ability. There are no activities within the 
church, except the monthly services. The building is extremely rough 
and is valued at ^400. 

3. St. Annis' Primitive Baptist (Primitive Orthodox Zion Baptist Church) 

This church is the most interesting of the three, from the standpoint 
of the student of sociology. It is the principal church of Yamassee, 
the only other being the mission just mentioned. Yamassee is the 
largest of the Negro settlements and lies about a mile and a half from 
the center of the town, but within the town limits. 

Facts concerning the origin and history of the church are hard to 
obtain. Indeed neither the minister nor any of the members seem to 
know just when or how it had its beginning. The building is valued at 
$1,800 and it has never been painted, and is not kept in good repair. 
The floors are uncarpeted, the interior is finished in wood, the windows 
plain, and there is no musical instrument. The seating capacity is 300, 
the membership fifty-six, twenty of whom are male. The average at- 
tendance is two-thirds of the membership, and the men and women are 


about evenly divided. No children under twelve years are admitted to 
membership. There is an organized Sunday-school, which is fairly 
attended, and also a weekly prayer meeting. This is led by some mem- 
ber of the church. There is a society called '' The Young People's 
Band," which corresponds to the ''Young People's Society of Christian 
Endeavor." It meets in the church once a week, but is poorly attended 
and not strongly organized. 

This church asserts, with much vigor, that it is the original Baptist 
Church; that the so-called ''Missionary Baptist" (of the type described 
above) is a false body, which withdrew from the mother church in 
1832. It points with pride to the list of the great men who were "Primi- 
tive Baptists." Its members believe in the scriptures of the Old and 
New Testaments, in predestination, in the fall of man, in the covenant 
of redemption, in justification, regeneration, in the resurrection and 
general judgment, baptism, the Lord's supper, and foot-washing. This 
last (foo-t-washing) is, of course, the main distinguishing characteristic. 
The regular communion service is held on the second Sunday of each 
month and after the sermon the ^lembers turn their benches so as to 
form two large squares on each side of the pulpit, the men on one side 
and the women on the other. They then wash each other's feet in 
turn, the preacher taking the lead. This, they say, is merely carrying 
out the example of Christ. The service generally ends with a kind of 
a dance, which they call "Rocking Daniel." No information could be 
gained as to tlie origin of this most peculiar custom A leader stands 
in the center of a circle, which the mem])ers form in front of the pul- 
pit. They begin with singing the lines: 

"Rock Daniel, rock Daniel, 
Rock Daniel till I die." 

Gradually they move round in the circle, single file, then begin to 
clap hands and fall into a regular step or motion, which is hard to de- 
scribe. Finally, when they have become worked up to a high state of 
excitement, and almost exhausted, the leader gives a signal, and they 
disperse. This ceremony reminds one quite strongly of an Indian war 
dance, except that it is on a somewhat tamer plan. 

The songs sung by the church are extremely interesting, as they 
embody so many strange and original sentiments. These j^eople seem 
to believe thoroughly in a noisy religion. They frequently interrupt 
the speaker with shouts of approval or disapproval and songs. The 
prayers are long and earnest in the extreme. The churches spoken 
of above are much more conventional in their services. 

The minister preaches one Sunday in a month at a country church; 
the remainder of the time he spends with his own congregation. He 
was educated in the public schools of Jacksonville, Fla., and in Cook- 
man College, and is a graduate of the Correspondence Bible College, 
and of the Christian University, Canton, Mo., having taken the degree 



of M. A. L. (Master of Ancient Literatui-e) at the last named institu- 
tion. Bethaney College of North Carolina conferred upon him the 
honorary degree of D. D. In 1895 he delivered the annual address to 
the literary societies of the Southern University of New Orleans, La. 
He is the author of several pamphlets, and was the general secretary 
of the Eleventh Annual Sunday-school and Ministers' Convention of 
the Eastern and Southern District of his church in 1901. He is con- 
sidered to be a man of unusual ability and attainments by the residents 
of his community. 

Generally speaking, the ministers are men of good character and of 
fair education. They are highly respected by their congregations and 
others. They all agree that the Negro was given citizenship long 
before he was ready for it; that his only salvation lies in education. 
They try to impress upon their people the real extent and meaning of 
the ignoi'ance wliich is so jDrevalent among them, and also the fact that 
they must look to the white inhabitants for encouragement and help. 

There is very little sectarian animosity between the different denomi- 
nations; union meetings and efforts are common, and much good often 
results from them. The church members play almost no part in the 
politics of the community, although most of them are property holders. 

There is comparatively little moral or religious training in the homes 
or in the schools. Family worship is not observed. The churches sre 
the center of social life and activity, but one finds the meetings of the 
morning poorly attended, while those of the evening are full, and are 
generally very lengthy. 

Just how deep the every-day lives of the members are affected by 
their religion it is difficult to say, but the pastors agree that it has a 
decided tendency to keep them " in the straight path." 

To sum up, the following brief table may be presented as an indica- 
tion of the present condition of the Negro churches in tlie town under 
consideration : 



p^ . 



11 ^ 









Missionary Baptist 





Bethel Church (African M. E.). . 





Primitive Baptist 







17. A Southern City.* There are in the city of Atlanta, Ga., the 
following- Negro churches: 


~ . 




r. r' 




r ^ 





•< s 

c S 













$ til. 273 

















$ 252,50.S 


The Negro population of Atlanta (1900) was 35,727. This means one 
church to every G62 men, women, and children, or one to every 130 faini- 
lies. Half the total population is enrolled in the church, and probably 
nearly two-thirds of the adult population. The active paying member- 
ship is much smaller. 

There are 29 Baptist churches, with an active membership of over 
5,000, and $60,000 worth of real estate. The i|;23,000 raised by them an- 
nually is expended as follows : 

For salaries 

Running expenses, etc 

Debt and interest 

Cliarities and missions 

Support of Connectional Boards 


2,751 (iO 

$ 23,2.59 30 


.4(1. 4'J 
. 2.5 


The Baptist churches may be tabulated as follows: 

'■' The data in this section were gathered by students in the senior and junior college classes 
in Atlanta University in 1902-3. 


Baptist Churches 




Value of 









$ 125 

$ 178.20 














2m. 00 
















1,148. 50 

































































25.. 50 








.55 00 
























$ 61,273 


The twenty-one Methodist churches are divided as follows : 

Methodist Churches 





African Methodist Episcopal 








$ 90,200 

$ 13,8:^1 10 

Colored Methodist Episcopal 

2,343 CiS 




$ M9,2:!5 


Annual expenditures of these churches are approximately as follow.s; 


Debt and interest 

Charities, etc 

Support of connection 
Other expenses 


9,171 .53 
3,.585 75 





$ 23,101 80 

100. oc;- 

The churches in detail are : 

African Methodist Episcopal Churches 





Real Estate. 





$ ii,2(K;) 

$ 1,420 (K) 










12(1, (HI 










307. IH) 





4,srii so 





5S5 00 
















740 02 





5S7 55 





l:!5 (i(t 









$ 90,2(Xt 


Methodist Episcopal Churches 




Real Estate. 






$ 40,(K)0 

$ 3,235 (H) 

542. (X) 


1,725. (K) 


I, mi 


$ 48,5tX) 

$ 6,927.00 

Colored Methodist Episcopal 




Real Estate. 







$ 4,000 

$ 1,-543, 05 






1 io,.5;55 

$ 2,343 65 

The remaining churches are four in number, one each of the Congre- 
gational, Episcopal, Christian, and Presbyterian denominations. Fig- 
ures for them are : 




Real Estate. 









$ 25,000 

$ 2,225.00 



436. tK) 





$ 42,000 

$ 5,451.79 


The expenditures of three of these deserve to be given in detail 




$ 1,1>(K) 


$ 211 


$ 950.00 

I>e))t find interest 

Charities . . 


•_".)(•) 91 


$ l>,-i-'5 

*$ \m 


Three exti'acts, from the reports of flrst-liand yoiuiii' investigators, 
tlirow some general light on the general character of these churches: 

From an old colored citizen of Atlanta, I learned of the marked advancement 
he has witnessed in the erection of church edifices and in the character of wor- 
ship. Just after the war, when the colored people were in their bitter struggle 
for the necessities of life, he says the race worshipped in box cars frecjuently, for 
they could not always obtain houses. As conditions changed the churches were 
moved to better quarters. The people generally supported the church very well 
until finally the Negro began to pattern his churches after the white churches, 
building structures which were far too costly for the Negro's financial status at 
the time. It seemed very sad to this old man that the "worship of the good, old 
time" was not what it used to be. 

The character of the pastors of the seven ^Methodist churches in my district 
seems, in every case, to be good. Such phrases as "you could not find any one to 
say anything against his character," express the sentiments of the members of 
these churches. The education of the pastors is fair, although there are excep- 
tions. Among the schools represented by the different pastors, are : Bennet Col- 
lege, ('lark University, Turner Theological Seminary (Morris Brown Theological 
Department), and (lammon Theological Seminary. 

The education of the members seems to vary from fair to very poor. In the case 
of my largest church (membership 740) a large number of the members were 
graduates of Clark University, and nearly all have a fair education. However, in the 
smaller churches, having from 16 to '277 memt)ers, the education of the congrega- 
tions was very meagre. 

A great majority of the members of the smaller churches are common laborers 
and are quite poor. The members of the larger churches are in moderate circum- 
stances, and although most of them are laborers, there is a fair per cent, of artis- 
ans and business men among them. 

The total expenses forthe respective churches for last year varied from %Q to $5,274. 
The salaries paid by churches varied from $500 to $1,240, not considering a case 
where there was no fixed salary and one where the church had no preacher last 
year, the pulpit being supplied by "local" preachers. 

Four of the seven churches are in debt. The debts ranged from $;i5 to $(>00, the 
latter of which was incurred by the building of a new church. 

■•' To this the general church adds $5(10 for salaries. 
** Only jiartially raised by members themselves. 


Most of the churches have relief societies to look after the charity and relief 
work. Some churches did no special relief work. One church, however, has a dea- 
coness, who devotes her time to such work. The money expended in such work 
varied from nothing to $100 in the different churches. That spent for missions 
varied from nothing to $200. 

The government of all Baptist churches is extremely democratic. Each mem- 
ber has the power of taking part in any of the general meetings and of voting. The 
financial and business matters of the church are attended to by the deacons' 
board. The power of the pastor varies somewhat according to the different con- 
gregations, and the difference ot esteem in which the pastor is held sometimes 
governs his influence and sway over them. 

All Baptists agree that each church is complete in itself and has the power, 
therefore, to choose its own ministers and to make such rules as it deems to be most 
in accordance with the advancement of its best interest and the purpose of its ex- 
istence. The time that a pastor is to serve is not fixed but varies according to 
the wishes of the people. If the people like the pastor, he is kept as long as he 
desires to remain, but if they do not, he is put out immediately. 

The general condition of the ten Baptist churches in this part of the city shows 
that on a whole their work is not progressing very fast. Over half of them are 
very small, with very small memberships, and very ignorant and illiterate pastors. 
And certainly where there are ignorant leaders of ignorant people not very much 
progress or good influence can be expected to follow. The places of meeting are 
not comfortable, being poorly lighted and unclean most of the time, and in some 
cases the church was situated in an unhealthy place. These, however, represent 
the worst half; and on the other hand, the larger churches are progressing very 
fast and their influence is gradually but surely spreading far and wide, and 
includes all grades of society. Many of the most influential and wealthy Negro 
churches of the city are Baptist. 

The pastors of the Congregational, Episcopal, and Presbyterian churches have 
excellent characters, and are doing much towards lifting the moral standard and 
religious life of the people. Not only are they earnest workers, but they are also 
well equipped for their work. They are well educated, one being a graduate of 
Fisk and Yale Universities, another is a graduate of 8t. Augustine College, 
Raleigh, N. C, and took a post graduate course at Howard University, Washing- 
ton, I). C, and one is a graduate of Lincoln University, who completed both the 
college and theological courses. They have excellent reputations, and are held in 
high esteem by their Alma Maters. The Yale graduate is well known North and 
South. The character of the members of these churches is good. They are quiet 
and intelligent, and there is no emotionalism in the churches. Most of the mem- 
bers of these churches are at least high school graduates, and a large per cent, is 
composed of business and professional men and women. 

The best picture of Atlanta churches can be obtained by studying certain typi- 
cal congregations now existing in the city. The primitive Negro congregation as 
it emerged from slavery was of two types : the large group, led by a masterful 
personality; the small democratic group, led by one of their own number. This 
latter group is of interest as approximating conditions in the early Christian 
church. In the case of the Negro, however, the communicants were ignorant 
people, with largely perverted, half-mystical ideals, and liable to become the vic- 
tims of mountebanks and rascals. A few such groups still survive, although they 
are dying out rapidly. Here is an example : 


No. 24. Priinitive Baptist — Active niembers thirty. 

The pastor can read and write, but is not well educated. His character is good, 
but he will not do laborious work, which the niembers think he ought to do out- 
side his church work. Most of the members were slaves, and the church is about 
twenty-eight years old. It has no influence except among its members and it 
began where it now stands, and was organized by most of the present members. 
No collection is taken except on communion day. The building is an old wooden 
one of rough lumber, raised about five feet from the ground. I looked through 
one of the cracks to get a view of the interior. Its seating capacity is about 
seventy-five. The benches are of rough lumber. The lamps (four oillamps) are 
hanging from the shabby ceiling. I paw a large Bible upon an altar of dressed 
lumber. One of the oldest members told me that he gave all the coal and oil 
used this year. He said that the church had a meeting once a month, and every 
three months communion and washing of feet. They believed in having no 
music, save singing. They believed in the pastor's working for his living just as 
the members did, and because the present pastor would not do this they were 
going to let him go. I could not find the pastor nor could they tell me where he 
or any of the other members lived. 

This is an example of church commimion among lowly ignorant and old peo- 
ple — a survival from the past. Such groups tend to change — to absorption into 
some larger group or to degenerate through bad leaders and bad members. Two 
other specimens of this type follow: 

No. 5. Baptist — Fourteen active niemljers. 

The old store, which is used for church purposes, is a very shabby building. A 
few chairs, two lamps, and a small table and a Bible make up the furniture. All 
of the members are old and ignorant. There is no Sunday-school connected with 
the church. The church government is a pure democracy, the pastor and the 
active members governing the church. The members are ignorant and of ques- 
tionable character. The pastor is an old and ignorant man, but is fairly gi:)od. He 
went away two years ago and left his flock because they did not give him the 
proper support. The church did not split but degenerated. Very little charitable 
work is done. When one of the members is sick he is given aid if he asks to be 
aided. There are several ignorant Negroes living in the vicinity of the church. 

No. 25. Baptist — Six active members. 

The pastor has a fairly good education, but there seem to be some serious 
doubts as to his character. In the church there seem to be three classes of mem- 
bers: some with good character, some with questionable character, and some 
about whose character there is no question. There is no charitable and rescue 
work done. The building is simply a small room house which is not used regu- 
larly for worship, but is used sometimes when the people in the neighborhood 
desire to meet there and can get the pastor to attend. They hold no regular meet- 

The other type of church, with a strong leader and a number of followers, is a 
more effective organization, but its character depends largely on its pastor. Here 
is one : 

No. 26. Baptist ( Missionary) — 165 active members. 

The education of the pastor is fair, but his character is not good. He has the 
rejiutation of being very immoral. He is, however, a good speaker. There are a 
few intelligent members, but the larger portion of the members are very illiterate. 


There is connected with the church an organized body of women (Woman's Mis- 
sion) which looks after the poor, the old. and the sick. The church was organized 
in 1878. in the old barracks of this city. It has had eight pastors since its organi- 
zation, and it is very influential over a large number of people in the vicinity. 
The church building is large and was once a beautiful wooden structure, but at 
present it is very much in need of repairs. It is furnished fairly well on the in- 
side, and is situated in one of the black belts of Atlanta. There is an otflcial 
board appointed by or elected by the church. This otiicial board attends to the 
affairs of the church. The pastor presides over the meetings. The pastor now 
in charge was once forced to give up his charge and leave the city, so the general 
report goes, because of his immorality. There were seven preachers called during 
his absence and two church splits, brought about through the pastors who were 
leading. Then the first pastor was recalled. While many of the members and 
the pastor bear the reputation of being immoral, they are also said to be very 
good to the poor. The entire collection of every fifth Sunday goes to the 
poor. There is a fairly sood Sunday-school connected with the church, and this 
Sunday-school has recently purchased an organ for the church. The church debt 
is .$400. 

To reform a perverted group like this is extremely difficult, and yet the work is 
slowly going on. If the reform is attempted through a change in the type of 
pastor the result at first is likely to be the substitution of a less forceful personality 
and the consequent loss of enthusiasm and interest among the mass of members. 

No. H. Baptist — Twenty-fiv<j active member.s. 

The pastor, from the report of the clerk and two or three other members, is an 
upright man. He attended the Atlanta Baptist College, btit did not graduate. 
He is a tailor.with a place of business on Edgewood Avenue, near Ivy Street. He 
does not depend on the church to support him, but is supported entirely by his 
business. The majority of the members are hard-working people. The men are 
employed as day laborers and the women do house-work. There is a lack of inter- 
est among the members. The Sunday-school is held at 3 o'clock each Sunday 
afternoon, and is composed of about ten or twelve children. The pastor is j-ylan- 
ning an organization, a B. Y. P. U., to meet each Sunday afternoon after Sunday- 
school. There is now being carried on a revival at the church. This church 
building is one story, and has about twe^ity-five or thirty benches in it. There 
are four windows on each side and a seating capacity for about 150 or 175. It has 
a small organ, and is lighted by one large kerosene lamp with a few lamps on the 
walls. It is situated in an unhealthy spot, but the pastor is contemplating chang- 
ing the locality. As soon as the debt is paid he says that he and the deacons in- 
tend to sell and move to a more desirable locality, wdiere they can do more effec- 
tive work. 

:^o. 411. African ^Mt^thotlist Episcojial — Eighty-five active ineinhprs. 

The chttrch was built about fourteen years aao. It was organized in a small 
house, where the meetings were held for about three years. The present btiilding 
was then erected and a pastor called, but the church was so poor that after a few 
years there was no pastor sent. In .Tanuary of this year the present minister was 
sent, but he is pastor of two other small churches. The inffuence of the church 
depends largely on the activity of the minister, yet its location would restrict its 
influence in any case. It is bounded on one side by Oakland cemetery and all others 
by a small settlement of Negro hovels, while back of these for a long way extend 


only white residences. The building is a wooden structure, with basement, fairly 
large. It is kept fairly clean on the inside, and was recently whitewashed. Out- 
side the woodwork is unpainted. 

When, however, inspiration comes from without through the larger churches or 
the church connection these small groups often show renewed activity and grow 
into intluential churches. 

No. 30. Colored Methodist Episcopal — Fifty active members. 

The church was first begun with one family, at the old barracks, in a one-room 
cabin. From there it was moved to Peters street, to Shell hall, where it was 
joined by a second family. Then it was moved to Markham street, where it was 
joined by others; then to Hunter street, in a white church, where it was burned. 
It was then re-established at Taylor street, in a store house, from whence it was 
moved to its pi'esent site. It now has a fair brick building, which cost about 
•liSjOOO, and is fairly well furnished inside. The present building and parsonage 
were built largely by the co-operative labor of its own members. The pastors are 
noisy, but of pretty good education. 

No. ;U. jNtethodist Episcopal — 115 active members. 

The i)astor has attended Clark University, and is a graduate of Gammon. He is 
well liked by his parishioners. The church recruits its members from the rail- 
road hands and their families, who are for the greater part uneducated. Some 
charitable work is done by different societies in the church. Such, for instance, 
as aiding paupers. The church is nineteen years old. It is not in debt, and has 
a lar2:e membership. Its influence is wide-spread, being one of the largest churches 
in this particular section. The church has connected with it a Woman's Home 
Missionary Society and an Epworth League. Through tlie missionary society, 
and through the heljj department of the league, much charitable work is being 
done in the community. I am told that during this year a poor woman was taken 
and given a decent burial, whereas otherwise the county would have had it to do. 
There is also a parsonage adjoining the clmrch, which, together with the church, 
is estimated to be worth .$1,500. 

The services in churches of (his type are calculated to draw the crowd, and are 
loud and emotional. A student thus describes a sermon in a large Baptist church 
of 500 active members on the occasion of the annual sermon before the Knights of 
Pythias. ''He began by telling the history of the Knights of Pythias. This was 
interesting and I could understand him; but when he shut the Bible and began to 
preach I could not understand him at iirst. As soon as I could distinguish be- 
tween the words and the peculiar sound made by the intaking of his l:)reath, I 
found myself listening to what the people called 'a good sermont.' During his 
talk he spit behind the altar many times, and often raised his voice to a veritable 
yell. I could not keep any record of his exact words. After the sermon there 
were s]ieeches by several laymen and then the deacons, gathering around the ta- 
ble in front of the pulpit, began to call for the collection. The choir then sang, 
but the calls of the deacons so interrupted that I could not hear the singing 
well. Twenty-three dollars were finally collected, each bringing forward his col- 
lection and placing it on the table." 

Such churches grow into large and inlluential organizations, losing many of 
their unconventional features and becoming very mucli like churches in any part 
of the land. 


No. 42. African Methodist Episcopal — 600 active nieniljers. 

The pastor is of good character and education, a graduate of Howard University 
Theological School. The members vary froin the old, poor, and respectable, to the 
young and well educated. In 1866 this church was organized by Rev. .T. J. Wood; 
the membership increased steadily until 18G8. The church moved into a new 
building. This old structure itself is yet sutticiently well preserved to show what 
a nice building it was. In 1891 the present structure was begun. In a short while 
the building went up, but owing to poor workmanship it was condemned. For 
this reason one wall had to be torn away at a loss of about !i;5,000. This meant a 
great blow to the congregation for the edifice was constructed at a great cost and 
as a result of much sacrifice on the part of many people. This left the people 
under the burden of a heavy debt, and the ministers who have succeeded have 
worked hard to pay it. The present structure is a handsome one, with a beautiful 
interior. The building is granite and is finished inside in yellow pine. Beauti- 
ful glass windows adorn the church and there are electric light fixtures and 
theatre chairs in the auditorium, while a $2,500 pipe organ also adds to the 
beauty. The church is very large, having a seating capacity of 3,000. The total 
membership is about 1,400, and is composed of some of the most infiuential and 
cultured colored people of the city, a considerable number Ijeing school teachers 
and property owners and respected people. The church is valued at $50,000 and a 
statement of the money paid out during the previous year shows a total of 
$4,964.86, which includes .$984.86 for salary to the pastor and .$3,020 for the church 
debt. This church does a great deal of relief work among the indigent members. 
Last year the amount expended was $200 for such work and $360 for missions; 
$500 was given to the general connections. 

The growtli of such great Negro institutions involves much effort and genivis 
for organization. The greatest danger is that of the "split;" that is, the with- 
drawal of a dissatisfied minority and the formation of a new church. The gov- 
ernment of the Methodist churches hinders this, but the Baptist churches are 
peculiarly liable to it. A case in the Methodist church follows: 

No. 37. African Methodist Episcopal — 110 active nieml)ers. 

The pastor is educated and respected and the grade of membership is fairly 
high. The church property, building and parsonage, is worth about $9,200. On 
this there is a debt of $2,800, but as this was loaned by one of the church mem- 
bers, no interest is charged on it. The church is a nice brick structure, with 
stained glass windows, galleries, choir, and organ. In the basement is a Sunday- 
school room. The church was founded in 1870 by members of No. 44, who had 
moved too far from their own church to attend services. As the church grew a 
cleft appeared between the richer and poorer members and the result was that 
some thirty or more members of the poor class withdrew and formed: 

No. 54. Christian — Thirty active inenil)Hrs. 

The leader and pastor is a man of (questionable character. The members are 
mainly the middle working classes of average intelligence. Very little charitable 
and relief work is done because the church has a hard time to keep on its feet. 
The church drew out of No. 37 in 1897 and established this church, and since that 
time the young church has been struggling for existence. The church building 
is a large barndike structure, roughly finished on the outside and rather crudely 
furnished on the inside. It will accommodate about 400 people. 


Such splits in the Negro church have beea numerous in the past, but as the 
churches g:rovv stronger tliis method of protest is less effective. Of the present 
fifty-four churches, eleven represent withdrawals from older churches. In some 
cases this represents only natural growth ; in others the establishment of more 
convenient local churches; in others quarrels and differences. Since splits are so 
easy in the democratic Baptist churches a large church of this denomination is 
evidence of great cohesion and skilled leadership: 

No. 57. Baptist — l,r)()() active nieml)ers. 

The character of the ]>:istor is good and he is educated. The inemberslui> in- 
cludes some of the best people of the city, less than 100 are illiterate; there are 
many business men, property owners and steady laborers and servants. The 
church supports two missions, and has a committee for charitable work and 
general relief. The organization dates back to 1870, when a few members of No. 
28 formed a small church. To-day the church is out of debt and has a bank 
account; has the largest Sunday-school in the state and one of the largest congre- 
gations in the city. It occupies a large plain building, furnished comfortably 
but not elaborately. It has two organs and a piano. It has had but three pastors, 
the second retiring on account of age, with a pension paid by the church. 

Another type of church is the Negro church which is an organization in one of 
the great white denominations. The Episcopal Church, for instance, has had 
Negro communicants from early times, but while it helps them there is the feel- 
ing that the church wants them to keep in their "place," and their churches are 
not growing. 

No. 53. Protestant Episcopal — Sixty-eight conimitnicants. 

The character of the rector is excellent. He was educated at St. Augustine 
College, Raleigh, N. C., and at Howard University, "Washington, I). C. The mem- 
bership is small, (piiet, and intelligent. Charity and relief work is done by dis- 
tributing clothing to the needy; periodicals are also distributed and visits made 
to the sick. The present structure was erected in 189:5. It is a frame building, 
painted, of moderate size, and neatly but plainly fitrnished on the interior. There 
is under the auspices of the church and in an adjoining liuilding a primary 
school with an enrollment of 120 students and three teachers. 

The ^Methodist Church has treated its Negro members with much considera- 
tion and symijatliy and lias in consequence many large and iiilluential churches. 
One of the best of these in Atlanta is : 

No. 33. iSIctlioclist Episcopal — 500 active inemliers. 

The pastor is a "gentleman and honest man." The membership is composed of 
the best class of working people with a large number of educated people and 
graduates of the schools. The church SLtjjports a salaried deaconess to take 
charge of its charitable work and spends nearly ^:iO0 a year on this work outside 
of salaries. The church was organized in 1870 with thirty members. The present 
building was owned by white Methodists, but they gave it up after the war and it 
was turned over to the Negroes, and has become the leading chtirch of this de- 
nomination in the South. The church is especially noted for its harmonious 
work and lack of "siilits." It does mitch for its young people, having a large 
Sunday-school l^esides classes in cooking and sewing and a week-day class in 
religious training. 

The Congregational ( "hurch is virtually independent and its growtli and influ- 
ence is due almost entirely to Negroes. 



No. 51. Congregational — 100 active members. 

The membership presents the highest average of intelh'gence of any colored 
church in the city. The charitable work is regularly and etticiently organized 
and a mission is maintained in the slums. The church was founded thirty-eight 
years ago by two white missionaries. The church became self-supporting under 
its present pastor and exerts a wide-spread influence in the city. The building is 
plain but substantial and well located. The church raises ^'2,i!25a year and has no 
del)t. Three hundred dollars is given in charity annually. 

A word may be added here as to the character of pastors and the finances of 
cliurches. In several of tlie smaller churches the pastors are ignorant and im- 
moral men, who are doing great harm. In the larger churches there is not in the 
city a man of notoriously immoral life. Against a few ministers there are rumors 
of lapses here and there, but it is difficult to say how far such gossip is trust- 
worthy and how far it is the careless talk of a people so long used to a low stand- 
ard among ministers that they hardly realize that there has been any change. 
That there has been a change, however, is certain. The older type of minister 
who built up the great churches of twenty years ago had a magnetic personality, 
great eloquence, and a power of handling men. In private life he varied in all 
degrees from an austere recluse to a drunkard and moral leper. This tyjie of man 
has jjassed away and his place has been gradually taken by a quiet, methodical 
man, who can organize men and raise money. Such men are usually of good 
average character and are executive officers of organizations strong enough to 
hold together with or without a pastor. They, however, fall behind the present 
demand in two particulars: they are not usually highly educated men, although 
they are by no means illiterate, and their goodness is the average goodness of 
every day men and not the ideal goodness of a priest, who is to revivify and rein- 
spire the religious feelings of a rapidly developing group. 

While the salaries paid ministers are still small, there has been a 
great improvement in recent vears. Tlie ministers of the fifty-four 
Atlanta churches are paid as follows per annum : 

$l,()(K)and over. 

750-1 ,0()0 





Under $.')() 

No fixed salary 


Tlie greatest change in the last decade has come in the forming of the 
church groups. Ability to organize and systematize, arrange a regular 
income and spend it effectively is demanded more and more of minis- 
ters and church officials. There is still mucli looseness and waste in 
money matters and some dishonesty in the smaller cliurches. Over 
.$12,500 was paid out in interest and principal of debts last year. This 
probably represents a total indebtedness of $50,000 to $75,000 on a quarter 
of a million dollars worth of property. 



18. Virginia.* There are twenty-four Negro churches in Richmond,! 
nineteen of wiiicli are Baptist. Tlie active membership of these 
churches is nearly the same as tliat of the fifty-four churches in Atlanta. 
As the Negro population of tlie two cities is nearly the same, this sliows 
a striking concentration in cliurch fellowship and is probably the result 
of longer growth in the older city, eliminating the smaller churches. 
Tlie statistics of membership and expenses are : 


Afric-iin Metlui(]ist KpisL-opal 

Methodist EpisfopMl 









$ ffi.lKK) 






1,4110. (H) 


Tlie expenditures of these churches are distributed as follows: 





S ■■.« 

5 ? 










Afru-aii Methodist 


S fiOO.OO 

f 4,100.00 

«l,.50().(K)i 90.00 

$ 20.00 


$ ,5I«).(K) 

Methodist Episcopal. . 



100. (K),' 20. (X) 





1.5,278 22 

14,84:j 79 

.5,859.94 1,607.02 


190.00; 54.20 


12. (X) 


446 81 





300 00 







f 1,094.96 

S 476.81 


Richmond is noted for its large Baptist churches. If we divide tlie 
twenty-four churches according to active membership, we have: 

* The data on which this para.e:raph is based were collected by students of Virginia Union Uni- 
versity, t Including Manchester. 



Over 1,(KK» active members 

7r)()-].(K)0 active members 
5(K)-7o() active members . . 
2;i()-500 active members. . 
l(H)-i*.")() active members . . 
Under KXI active members.. 

The three largest churches claim a total membership of 6,169 persons, 
and an active membership of 3,134. They are all Baptist churches with 
interesting histories. Over one the noted John J. Jasper was stationed 
for years. The largest church has a total membership of 2,553, of which 
one-half are active. This churcli raises $5,229 a year and spends nearly 
$700 in charity and mission work. It has no debt. Ninety-four persons 
joined the church last year, of wliom sixty-two were under twenty years 
of age. The pastor is a college grathuite. Another church lias 1,058 
active members. It I'aises $5,000 a year and spends $270 in charities. It 
paid nearly $3,000 on its deljt last year. A third churcli, witli 800 active 
members, i'aises $3,250 a year. They paid off the last indebtedness on a 
$3,000 church last year. The Protestant Episcopal Church has 133 
commimicants and raises $1,200 a year. It spends $243 a year in charity. 

The present condition of Riclimond churches seems, on the whole, to 
be good. While the standard of the ministry is not yet satisfactory, the 
proportion of upright and moral men is increasing. Tliere is consider- 
al>le work among the sick and the poor, and this kind of work is in- 

For a i)icture of the condition of churclies in Farmville, Va., in 1898, 
we may quote the following : * 

"The church is much more tlvan a reh'gious organization : it is the chief organ 
of social and intellectual intercourse. As such it naturally finds the free demo- 
cratic organizations of the Baptists and Methodists better suited to its purpose 
than the strict bonds of the Presbyterians or the more aristocratic and ceremon- 
ious Episcopalians. Of the 262 families of Farmville, only one is Episcopalian 
and three are Presbyterian ; of the rest, twenty-six are ilethodist and 218 Baptist. 
In the town of Farmville there are three colored church edifices, and in the sur- 
rounding country there are three or four others. 

"The chief and overshadowing organization is the First Baptist Church of 
Farmville. It owns a large brick edifice on ^lain street. The auditorium, which 
seats about 500 people, is tastefully finished in light wood, with carpet, small organ, 
and stained glass windows. Beneath this is a large assembly room witli benches. 
This building is really the central club-house of the community, and in greater 
degree than is true of the country church in New England or the West. Various 
organizations meet here, entertainments and lectures take place here, the chitrch 
collects and distributes considerable sums of money, and the whole social life of 
the town centers here. The unifying and directing force is, however, religious 
exercises of some sort. The result of this is not so much that recreation and 
social life have become stiff and atistere, but rather that religious exercises have 

* Bulletin of the United States Department of Uabor, No. 14, pp. :!l-:!'>. 



acquired a free and easy expression and in some respects serve as amusement-giving 
agencies. For instance, tlie camp-meeting is simply a picnic, with incidental ser- 
mon and singing; the rally of the country churches, called the 'big meeting,' is the 
occasion of the pleasantest social intercourse, with a free barbecue; the Sunday- 
school convention and the various preachers' conventions are occasions of reunions 
and festivities. Even the weekly Sunday service serves as a pleasant meeting and 
greeting place for working people, who find little time for visiting during the 

"Prom such facts, however, one must not hastily form the conclusion that the 
religion of such churches is hollow or their spiritual influence bad. While under 
present circumstances the Negro church can not be simply a spiritual agency, but 
must also be a social, intellectual, and economic center, it nevertheless is a spirit- 
ual center of wide influence; and in Farmville its influence carries nothing im- 
moral or baneful. The sermons are apt to be fervent repetitions of an orthodox 
Galvanism, in which, however, hell has lost something of its terrors through 
endless repetition; and joined to this is advice against the grosser excesses of 
drunkenness, gambling, and other forms disguised under the general term 'pleas- 
ure' and against the anti-social peccadillos of gossip, 'meanness,' and undue pride 
of ])osition. Very often a distinctly selfish tone inculcating something very like 
sordid greed and covetousness is, perhaps, unconsciously used; on the other 
hand, kindliness, charity, and sacrifice are often taught. In the midst of all, the 
most determined, energetic, and searching means are taken to keep up and 
increase the membership of the church, and 'revivals,' long continued and loud, 
although looked upon by most of the community as necessary evils, are annually 
instituted in the August vacation time. Revivals in Farmville have few of the 
wild scenes of excitement which used to be the rule; some excitement and 
screaming, however, are encouraged, and as a result nearly all the youth are 'con- 
verted' before they are of age. Certainly such crude conversions and the joining 
of the church are far better than no efforts to curb and guide the young. 

"The Methodist Church, with a small membership, is the second social center of 
Farmville, and there is also a second Baptist Church, of a little lower grade, with 
some habitual noise and shouting." 

Outside the city of Richniond, we have rettirns from thirty-five 
churches. Tliirty-two of these are Baptist, one is CHiristian, and two 
Presbyterian : 

Total churches ;i5 

Total membership 18,7:i7 

Total actual membership 10,si2 

Total value property Ill 4,810 (H) 

Total expenses '.'1, 1.55. 54 

Total expenses S 21,155 54 

Salaries S i»,7:-i.s,2s 

Debt and interest 862. (H) 

Running expenses 3,821.68 

Charity, etc 1,247. 6() 

MLssions 1,475. OSt 

Support and connection. . . 4;?7.08 

Other expenses 4,*55.15 



The condition of the Methodist churches can be judged by the reports 
of the African Methodist Episcopal Churches in the Norfolk, Ports- 
mouth, Richmond, and Roanoke districts — 108 cluirchps in all : 

Ministers 77 

Members !t,r.'<> 

Churches Ids 

Parsonages :is 

Value cliurches and parsonages S ltiH,ll i .09 

Present indebtedness (>1,789.()1 

Money raised for— 

Pastors' support 1S,57S t>2 

Missionary money 1,177 4<') 

Charitable purposes 1,1(12. 5:5 

Educational purposes 512.40 

Building and repairs 8, 18!). 10 

Current expenses 38,281 .22 

For a 1 1 purposes 70,581 (i" 

19. The Middle West, Illinois. (By Monroe X. Work, A. M., and the 


There are api^roximately about 250 Negro churches in the state with 
a total membership of 15,177. The Negro population of the state was 
85,078 for 1900. This gives about 22^0 per cent, of Negro population of 
the state as meinbers of the church. There is a large number of per- 
sons who have moved into the state that in their native homes were 
memliers of churches. These would raise the actual number of church 
communicants considerably, for they commune, etc., and to all intents 
and purposes are members of the churches where they happen to reside. 
These would in a census be returned as meml)ers and counted in the 
state where residing. 

By denominations the membership is as follows: 

African Methodist Episcopal 8,^575 

Baptist s,si2 

African Methodist Episcopal 

Zion 100 

Methodist Episcopal 8iiO 

Old Time Methodist Episcopal loo 

Episcopal 880 

Presbyterian 210 

Cunil)erland Presbyterian ... 65 

Christian 50 

Catholics (not ascertained) 

Adventists (estimated) 25 

The total amount of church property owned In the state was about ^145,000 
The total expenses for 1902 were about 1*^,(X)0 

Of the above amount aliout $70,(X)0 was for pastors' salaries and about 
$20,000 on church debt. 

The following conclusions are based on my own observations and the 
replies to questions sent out : 

The Negro church, as a result of slavery, emphasized the emotional 
side of mentality and the future life. Freedom, witli its changed envir- 
onments and opportunities, has modified these two aspects. It is found 
in the study of churches of this state, that there is a decided tendency 


away from the emotional and the emphasizing oi the future life. This 
is especially noticeable in l)oth Baptist and Methodist churclies, which 
contain tlie bulk of the N('t>To communicants. In the churches of these 
denominations in the city of (/hica-<4'o there are only a few where 
the empluisis is on the emotional and the future life. Tliere are 
sonu> churclies wliere the emphasis is placed sometimes on the emo- 
tional, the future life, and sometimes on the intellectual and this present 
life. There is a large number of churches in which the emphasis is 
almost entirely on the intellectual and the things of this life. It may 
be said, therefore, that in general the farther the people have moved 
from slavery conditions the less emotional and uni^ractical they are 
religiously; the more effort there is to make religion a rule of conduct 
for every day life. 

Historically the Negro ministry has iiad three distinct stages of 
development and appears to be passing into a fourth stage. The min- 
ister of slavery days and early freedom, for the most part ignorant, was 
the leathM' of the })eople along all lines — religiously, intellectually, 
politically, etc. The emancipated Negro had few or no church build- 
ings. This, with the additional fact of a large emigration to the cities, 
caused a demand for ministers who could build large church buildings 
and control large congregations. The church-building, congregation- 
managing minister was the result. It was not necessary that he should 
be intellectual uv morally upright if he could meet with the demands, 
hence the develoi^ment of this type of ministry. The neetl of church 
buildings was largely met, but almost every church had a debt upon 
it. There arose a demand foi' ministers who could raise money to pay 
these debts and keep the church doors from being closed. This, the 
third type, has more business ability than his predecessors. He is 
stronger intellectually and better morally. There is arising a demand 
for still another type of ministry, viz. : the ma,n strong intellectually 
and sound morally. This demand is, as yet, not very strong, 
mainly because there are not many churches out ot debt, and the 
energies of the people are largely ex|)ended in raising money to pay on 
church debts. It is more than probal)le that as the people progress in 
intelligence and the churches ai'e freed from debt, thus permitting 
them to pay more attention to internal asjiects of religion, the intellec- 
tual aiul moi-al man will become more and more the leader in the 

Tiie al)()ve is not intended as a^ fidl or adequate explanation of the 
cliurches in Illinois, especially in ('liicago, but rather as one of the 
main causes in producing the; present conditions of the churches in this 

The presentcoiulitions ol' tlie churches seems to be about as follows: 
they are for the most part deeply in debt. Hence the energies of 
the people are expended in raising money to pay interest, etc., of debt, 
thereby causing the emphasis to be laid on the incidentals instead of 


upon the essentials of the ivligious life. The people live for the church 
instead of the church existing for the people. There is not as much 
attention given to teaching the essentials of religion as should be, hut 
the tendency seems to be more toward this phase as the chuiclies are 
freed from debt. This is best illustrated by the institution of jiastors 
having- for their purpose the ministering to the social needs of the 
people. The Institutional Church, established in Chicago by the Afri- 
can Methodist Episcopal denomination, is the most advanced step in 
the direction of making the church exist for tlie peoi)le rather than the 
people for the church. Because of the financial needs and other tilings 
this church has been compelled to modify its efforts to minister to the 
people and lay emphasis on the incidental features. 

The church appears to be occupying a somewhat less prominent place 
in the social life of the people than it once did, although it is yet 
probably the most influential factor, or one of the most influential, in 
their social life. 

The ministry has probably improved, both intellectually and morally. 
It is, however, not meeting the needs of the people in tlie best possible 
manner, because there are few ministers with college and theological 
training, and the debt-ridden conditions of the chiu'ches call for men 
with ability to raise money rather than for men inreliectually and 
morally strong. 

The morals of the people are probably being raised. This is best 
evidenced by the wide-spread dissatisfaction that is found to exist 
among church members and the criticism of present conditions whieli 
they make; also the increasing demand for a better ministrj'. This 
criticism is: 

(1) One of the ministry. 

a. It lacks edification. 
h. it laclis morality. 

c. It lacks business ability. 

(2) Of the members. 

«. Of the officers of the chiireh who are often dishonest and lacking: in 
business ability. 

b. The members lack moral sense and ai)preciatiiin, i. e., the ethical stand- 

ards are bad. 

The church is proliably losing its influence on the young people 
because of the scarcity of ministers able to meet tlie intellectual needs 
of the times and the emphasis which the church is compelled to place 
on eternal things. The conditions of the churches in this state, while 
far from lieing good, are proliably being improved. 

1. A better type of ministry is appearing (very few). 

2. The business affairs of the church are being better managed. This 
is notably true in Chicago. 

8. The people are demanding better ministers and higher morals 
(demand very weak and uncertain as yet). 

4. Tendency appears to be toward more honest and upright living 
among the members. 



The opinions of seventy-five intelligent colored laymen throughout 
the state are as follows: 

The majority think that the present condition of the churches is bad. 
The churches' influence is, on the whole, toward better and more upright 
life, but there is great room for improvement. The ministers are said 
not usually to be the right sort of men, their faults l^eing ignorance and 
immorality, and in some eases, drunkenness. Opinions are divided as 
to the eflticiency of Sunday-schools. Not much charitable work is done 
and the church is not attracting young people. 

The great needs of the church in Illinois are better ministers, better 
business management, a liigh standard of living among members, a 
larger income, and more practical work. 

The standards of morality among Negroes are being slowly raised. 

Detailed returns as to churches have been received directly from 
sixty-one Negro churches having an enrolled membership of 10,144 and 
an active membership of 6,172. Of this active meml)ersliip, 4,969 is in 
the thirty-two churches in the city of Chicago. Tlie twenty-nine 
churches outside of Chicago report the following statistics : 

Twenty=nine Churches in Illinois 

Total membership '2,li3 

Active membership l,OSt;^ 

Cost of churches S72,GiiO.(X) 

Salaries $ 8,2t)0 S)l 

Debt and interest 3,20(i.4t) 

Running expense 2,;iS8 "28 

Charity m .m 

Missions 8l()();! 

Support of connection tius 2(i 

Other expenses 3,1711 10 

Total S l.s,i(>l t>s 

For southern Illinois we have reports of seventy-four African jVIetho- 
dist Episcopal Churches as follows : 

Ministers 52 

Members -1,085 

Churches 74 

Parsonages 35 

Value churches and parsonages 8 SS.lltOOO 

Present Indebtedness 23,:304.44 

School houses 3 

Money raised for — 

Pastors' support $ 17,!»64 11 

Missionary money 481 35 

Charitable purposes 650.08 

Educational purposes 243.75 

Building and repairs 8,215.74 

Current expenses 4,161. !)8 

For all expenses 3.3,207. .58 



There are in Chicago thirty-two colored churches and missions. Six- 
teen of these own the places where they worship. There are no returns 
from four of them. The figures are : 

The Negro Churches in Chicago 


African Methodist Episcopal 


African Methodist Episcopal Zlon 




Methodist Episcopal 


Total 28 


■- i^ o 








$ 17S,S(H» 

12,()74 74 



$ 58,408.50 

[N. B.] These totals are smaller than they really should be owing to the fact that 
some churches were only partially reported, while the "Adventist Ohurch" has no 
report of statistics. 

*One of the Africnn Methodist Episcopal Churches does not own property, taut 
uses a rented building. 

Four of the Bajitist Churches do not own property, but use rented buildings. 

One of the Presbyterian Churches owns no property. 

The Christian Church uses a rented building. 

One of the Methodist Episcopal Churches uses a rented building. 

The active meml)ership of these cliurches varies as follows: 









Under KK) 






The pastors of tliese churches maybe classified as follows: Of the 
five larger churches (300-1,000 members) the, pastors are reported: 
No. 1. "Reputation fair." 

"Charged with drunkenness and immoraUty ; but charges not confirmed." 
"Charged with misuse of church funds." 
"No especial charges." 
"Character not good — immoral." 

Of the pastors of churches with 10t)-;300 members : 

Nos. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12. "Character good." 

No. 11. "Character not good — given to drink." 

No. 2. 
No. 3. 
No. 4. 
No. 5. 

88 KifiirTir Atlanta conference 

Of the i>aslors of the smaller churches nine are of good character. 
The others are : 

No. 14. ''lfe]mtation not snod." 

No. 2(). "('barged with misuse of funds." 

Nos. ]5 and 17. ? 

No. 20. Has no pastor at present. 

In the larger churches four are composed largvly of ignorant or 
lower middle class people. One has a pretty intelligent class of people. 
Of the seven medium churches three have intelligent congregations of 
the up])er class and four congregations of fair intelligence. The 
smaller churches consist of tliree rather intelligent congregations, 
seven of fair or medium intelligence, and five ignorant bodies. 

Only one of the large churches does much cliaritable work. It spent 
last year nearly $400. One other church claims to spend considerable, 
but does not do very effective work. Two of the medium sized churciies 
do charital)le work of some importance. One of these was originally 
organized as a social settlement, l)ut for lack of proper guidance has 
had but i3:>i"tial success. Nevertheless, it is a significant movement 
and indicates a drift in the riglit direction. It has done some good 
work, among other things co-ojaerating with Atlanta University in this 
study. One of the smaller churches has a day nursery and kindergar- 
ten, and two others do some institutional work among the young people. 
The oldest of the Negro churches was established in 1850. It was for 
some time a station on the underground railroad. It is to-day a center 
of social and religious life and also of the political life of the Negroes. 
President McKinley spoke in the churcli on his last public visit to 
Chicago. The second oldest church was established in 1S5.'5. 

The actual services in these churches can best be judged ))y record- 
ing' the results of a series of visits. In four of tlie lai'ge churches we 
have the following results: 

African Methodist Episcopal Church — TOO active meml)ers. 

11 a. m. Sunday .service. There was a long ritualistic introduction. The sing- 
ing was good and effort was put fortli to make strangers feel at home. The ser- 
mon was preaclied especially to converts and there was much emotion prevalent. 
The emphasis \va.s laid on the after life. The house was well filled and the ven- 
tilation bad. 

African Metiiodist Episco])al Zion Church — oOO active members. 

^Morning service. The attendance was poor and much emotion was displayed. 
The sermon was on "God's love." There was much insistence on money. The 
ventilation was bad. 

African Methodist Episcopal Church — 800 active members. 
Bjiecial afternoon service. Discussion of the decrease of consumption by col- 
ored i)liysicians of the city. Talks on care of the body. 

Baptist Chui'ch— 1,000 active members. 



Evening service. The house was crowded and the sermon emotional. The ser- 
vice was long, running forty-five minutes over time. Sermon had some practical 
Ijearings at the close. Ventilation was good. 

Ten other church services in the medium and smaller churches are 
reported. In nine of these there was no evidence of emotion — in some 
cases for lack of interest, in other cases from custom. In one case the 
church had white aud colored memljers and a colored pastor. They 
showed much emotion at the service, but were very sincere and earnest 
people. The sermons varied: one was on tlie ''Future life;" another 
took the theme "Get ready to leave this world," Iiut ended with prac- 
tical advice on home-owning-. Anotiier spoke of the ''Blessed life," 
putting- emphasis on both this and the future life. Another sermon 
was on "Self-control." 

The expenditures of Chicag'o churches were as follows: 

Thirty=two Churches in Chicago 

Total membership ti,811 

Active membership 4,829 

Valuation of ehurehes $ 19',f,3()0.00 

Salaries 17,895. 13 

])el)t and interest 17,<)17.39 

Running e.xpenses r2,S(i9 32 

Charity 2,7i;0. 9S 

Missions (>09. 10 

Support of connection l,.^.'j().95 

Other expenses •),2i')7.10 

Total $ r,7,m.K<J7 

The comments of intelligent Negroes and some of the pastors on tlie 
condition of the churclies are worth listening- to. As to the condition 
of the churches there is nuich complaint of the del)ts due larg(4y to 
the erection of imposing edifices : 

"As a rule, they are marked with inefliciency and a lack of proper regard for the 
moral development of the people. The emphasis placed on the financial condition 
is so great that the church is lacking in that which works for the moral develop- 
ment of the people in honesty, in sexual purity, etc." 

"I have been informed that all but two of the churches in tiiis city carry large 
debts. These debts range from .f5,000 to $27,000. In appearance and appointments 
the church structures compare favorably with the edifices of the white population. 
One was built and completed at a cost of nearly .$50,000. The Institutional Church 
was bought from the First Presbyterian Church for $33,000, of which sum .$9,000 
has been paid. The Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Olivet 
Baptist Church cost in the neighborhood of $30,0tX) each. They each owe about 

"The majority are in debt. The larger churches are largely attended by fash- 
ionably dressed people. The smaller ones have a hard struggle to exist. There is 
a constant demand for money at every service in all of them." 


The iiiflucnce of these churches is criticized : 

"The thought of right doing and right hving seems to be secondary. The pri- 
mary idea seems to be to get the most good-paying members." 

"We have many loyal and faithful members in our churches, and, I may add, 
altogether too many bad ones." 

The ministers are especially taken to task : 

"As a rule, I think the ministers are good men. There are dangerous exceptions, 

"I know some good, pure, and upright men in the ministry, but I know some 
who are not good, pure, and upright. In my observations, I have noticed drunk- 
enness, poor paymasters, lack of interest in their families, and very much tainted 
with sexual impurity." 

"The ministers of churches are excellent Christian gentle- 
men, educated, and doing all in their power to raise the standard of Christian 

"So far as my jjersonal knowledge goes, the ministers are good men. I can not 
deny that I have heard some ugly and persistent rumors concerning the life and 
character of several of the local staff of preachers. Sexual immorality and drunk- 
enness are the offenses charged. I do not know of this from personal knowledge, 
how'Cver. In making this statement I am not attempting to evade whatever 
responsibility may rest with me in this matter. I simply do not know of my ow"n 
knowledge of the correctness of these charges." 

"I do not know of any specific cases of immorality such as you make mention 
of liere. I can only judge by what I hear and that not too harshly. If I should 
judge strictly according to what I hear, I should not believe that there were any 
Christians among our ministers. This I am unwilling to accede." 

"I regret to say some of those in our larger churches have not conducted them- 
selves as Christian ministers should, numerous scandals having arisen about them. 
Whether false or true, it has a tendency to destroy their influence for good." 

"Common rumor charges the ministers of our largest churches in this com- 
munity with gross immorality — sexual iraproj^riety and drunkenness. The min- 
isters of the three largest Methodist churches are charged with drunkenness, 
and the one at another church with gross sexual immorality. Accoi'ding to 
persistent rumor, one church was robbed by a former pastor who still has a 
charge here." 

"Several ministers whom 1 know have had the above charges laid at their door. 
I cannot say whether they are guilty or not. I know, however, that a great deal 
of money passes through their hands and still the churches groan under the heavy 
weight of debt. Some I know are positively immoral." 

Several pastors write of their especial difticulties, enumerating them 
as follows: 

"How to secure sufficient means to prosecute the work in my district, which is 
the 'Slum District,' and how to treat and deal with the influx now migrating 
here from the Soutli." 

"One is poverty. Another is to have my message received for its own sake. A 
third is the utter lack of moral stamina in the community, extending to every- 

"The pastor's greatest difficulty is to meet his financial obligations because of 
his meagre salary." 


"The one great difficulty of the Xegro pastor is to overcome the persistent, well 
nigh peremptory demand for something which appeals to the animal rather than 
to the human — that rouses the excitable i-ather than convicts the judgment.." 

"Lack of competent othcials in a business way." 

The greatest needs of the churches, according to the pastors, are: 

"More intelligence and more piety, as well as an infinitely greater degree of 
purified refinement," 

"(1) New methods of giving, i. e., from principle; (2) harmony between inner 
and external life; (3) promptness in attendance; (4) true conception of the mean- 
ing of worship; (5) to keep the church out of politics." 

"The greatest need is money." 

The laymen think the needs are : 

"I think the greatest need of our churches is good business management of funds, 
honest, intelligent and industrious business men on our trustee and deacon boards." 

"More earnestness, higher moral tone, particularly in pulpit. To reform meth- 
ods of raising money so as to preserve the quiet calm that should prevent devo- 
tional meetings from degenerating into a bargain counter session. The building 
of large and imposing edifices without previous monetary arrangements or its 
spiritual value being thought of, makes morals and religion serve as bell-ringer 
merely to call the congregation in order to cajole, importune or brow-beat inter- 
est money and pastor's salary." 

And al)Ove all, "Better niiiiisiers." 

Yet, that there is some good work done in mattoi-s of cliarity and 
reform by the churches, all admit. 

"Yes, we have Sunday Clubs, as for instance, the Ladies' Aid of Berean Church, 
which did noble work during the severe cold weather just passed. They meet from 
house to house and sew for the poor." 

"The Institutional Church and Social Settlement does the most of iliis kind of 
work. The other churches confine their charitable and reformatory work to their 
membership. I think this is accounted for in the small and moderate means of 
the membership." 

"No .specialized charity, but particularly generous and open-hearted in recjuest 

"The Institutional, Quinn Chapel, Bethel, and others in Chicago. Special col- 
lections are lifted to bury some poor unfortunate or to relieve the wants of the 

Tlie churches are not attracting young people as they should. 

"Owing to present conditions, as I see them, the young people of the intellectual 
class are not attracted to the church. They give very little for the support of the 

"Not in large numl:)ers. A few are scattered throughout all of the churches, but 
the vast majority seems to have no inclination toward the church." 

"Taking Chicago as a whole. No I In the community of which I write. Yes ! One 
of the largest Negro churches in the city until recently actually set a premium on 
ignorance, and drove the younger element from the church." 

"I am sorry to have to answer No. Our young people are being educated away 
from the church. Avery small percentage of our professional men and women 
are regular in their church attendance." 


In spite of all drawbacks the weii>-ht of opinion is tliat moral stand- 
ards in Chicago are l)eing slowly raised desi)ite the influx of the new 
colored imniigrants : 

"It is my firm belief thai the statulards are being raised in these i^articulars. 
The accumulations in projierty holdings and homes, the increase in bank accounts, 
the visible improvement in the inatterof good taste in dress, are signs which, in 
my opinion, conllnn the belief that the standards included in this question are 
being raised." 

"I do not think tlie stan(hu-ds are being raised l)y any means." 

"Througli the efforts of the church, Women's Clubs, and Sunday Clubs, there 
seems to be an improvement in morals." 

"bowered, as viewed from large numbers of marriages, which are not held in 
such sacredness as .such tie demands and in careless rearing of children." 

"I think tlie standard of morality is being raised. Marriages are common, 
every-day occurrences, and illicit and illegal cohabitation is no longer common 
but is very rare. The chief agencies in this work are church and school." 

20. The Middle West, Ohio. (By R. R. Wright. Jr.*) 
Greene County is situated in tlie sotithwestern portion of tlie state of 
Ohio, a1)0ut midway between Cincinnati and Columbus. Its area is 
453 square miles and its population is 31,6l;J, of whom 4,055 are Negroes. 
Greene County is a typical county for the study of the Negro problem, 
as it refers to the Northern Negro of the country and small town, for 
it not only has a very varied population of Negroes, liut also the largest 
proportion of Negroes to whites in the state; and among tliese Negroes 
are some of tlie oldest inhaljitants of the state as well as some of the 
most recent immigrants from the South. 

Negro Church in Ohio 

Ohio has a population of 4,157,545 persons, of whom 9(>,9i)l are Negroes, 
or these about 28,000, or tw(Mity-nine \wr cinit., are reported as church 

Early in the last century the Negro church had its rise in this state. 
In 1815, when tliere were but few Negroes liere, the first Negro church 
was established at Cincinnati. This was under the MeJ;liodist Episco- 
pal cliurch. Rev. B. W. Arnett, now bishop of the African Methodist 
E^iiscopal Church, gives the following account in his "Proceedings of 
the Semi-Centenary Celel:)ration of the African Methodist Episcopal 
Cliurch of Cincinnati, 1874:" ''The first religious society organized in 
Cincinnati by colored people was the Deer Creek Church, organized in 
1815, under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church. This was 
one year before the organization of the African Methodist Episcopal 
denomination in Philadelphia Ijy Richard Allen and others. What 
Neu-roes there were in Cincinnati had been attending Old Stone Church, 

'Cf. Mr. WriL'ht's lonu'er study. IJulleliii United States Burciui of Labor, No. 48. 


or 'Wesley (JhapeT Methodist Episcopal Clnirch ; but on account of 
the shouting- habit tliey were not very much desired at this white 
church. They were all crowded into one section of the churclj, where 
witli mucli effort tliey tried not to disturl) their white bretiiren by 
their frequent outbursts of praise to God. The whites tolerated them 
as long- as they were successful in suppressing this inclination to sliout. 
Tlie crisis came, however, in IHlo, when a brother, striving- to suppress 
his shout l)y muffling- his mouth with a handkerchief, burst one of his 
blood vessels in the attempt. After this the whites themselves took 
serious steps to Iiave a separate church for Negroes. The result was 
tlie Deer Creek Churcli, wliose pastor for a long while was a slave who 
came over from Kentucky from time to time. This new church was 
under tlie Methodist Episcopal connection until 1823, when, on account 
of alleged discrimination and unbrotlierly action on the part of the 
wliite brethren toward tlie colored, many of the latter withdrew and 
went over to the African Metliodist Episcopal Church. Those who 
remained continued in the Methodist Episcopal Church, known later 
as Union Chapel. Thus began tlie Negro church in Ohio. Its mother 
was tlie Methodist Episcopal Church. The first African Methodist 
Episcopal Cliurch was at Steubenville. In 1828. according to Bishop 
D. A. Payne's History of tlie African Metliodist Episcoi)al Church, 
there were churches of this denomination at Cincinnati, Steubenville, 
and Chillicothe. When the Chillicothe and Steubenville churches 
were founded is not exactly known. In 1824 the report fi)r the African 
^Methodist Episcopal churches was as follows: .Jefferson Ccnmty Cir- 
cuit (composed of Steubenville, with forty-five members. Cape Belmont, 
six membei's, Mount Pleasant, twelve members) — total sixty-three 
members; Chillicothe Circuit (composed of Chillicothe, Zanesville, 
Lancaster, and Cincinnati), only thirty-three members were reported 
on these charges. In 1833 there were churches at twenty different 
points with a membership of (i90. In 1836 the membership of the 
African Methodist Episcopal Church was 1,131, and in 1838 it was 1,817. 
It has steadily increased until to-day it is more than 6.000. " 

When the separate Negro church was estalilished, in 1815, nearly 
all the Negroes of the town joined or attended it regardless of what 
denomination they had before belonged to. It was not until 1835 that 
the first Baptist organization was begun — -'Union Baptist Church" of 

There are now in the state seven denominations maintaining separate 
churches for Negroes, with a membership as follows : 


Baptists 16,213 

Western Association (>,R»^ 

Eastern Association 3,704 

Zion Association *3,500 

Providence Association 2,124 

African Methodist Episcopal Church 0,308 

Ohio Conference 3,179 

North Ohio Conference 3,120 

Methodist Episcopal Church, North 1,645 

Wesleyan Metliodists 557 

Christian (Disciples) * 1,000 

Episcopal and Presbyterian 2,000 

Total 27,723 

These with the number of Negroes who ai'e members of ^yhite cou- 
gregations among l*resbyterians, Catholics, Cong-regatiojialists, Zionists 
(Do\yieites), ^vould make the total about 28,000, or about twenty-nine 
per cent, of the total Negro population of the state. Of the population 
over fifteen years of age — 70,082 — forty per cent, are church members. 
In 1S90 there were 250 organizations in the state among Negroes, having 
19,827 communicants. This was 22.8 per cent, of tlie total population 
of 87,113 Negroes, much less than in 1902. The number of church mem- 
bers in the country at large in 1890 was 2,673,977 or 85.7 per cent, of 
the total Negro population. By this we see that Ohio is now still 
somewhat behind what the country at large was in 1890. The following 
table is taken froin the United States census of 1890: 



ti >". 

























Total for United States. 

















Tliere are now over 300 organizations distributed among over 200 cities 
and towns in tlie state. 

Greene County 

Greene County has a population of 31,(513, of whom 4,055 are Negroes. 
The county is favorably situated for farming, and outside of Xenia 
many Negroes engage in this occupation, cliiefly as 'Viands" at odd 
lal)or, however, tis the census of 1900 gave only ninety farmers among 
the colored population of the county. The county is one of the oldest 
in the State, constituted in 1802, and named for General Nathaniel 

' Estimated bv .'^cerutarv. 



Greene. From its earliest days it has had Negroes among its population, 
as the following table will show : 







r,,,s;i 1 
10. HIS 

ii,( ;;;'.» 






























a Includes 21 Indians. 

b Includes il Cliinese and 10 Indians. 

<■ I)t)es ncjt Include :> Chinese and 7 Indians. 

riNegi'oes only. Does not include 1 Chinese and Japanese. 

The following table gives a partial exhibit of the general financial 
condition of the churches of the State: 


M. E. Church 

A. M. E.— 

N. O. Confer( 
Ohio Conference 


C Eastern Association. 
J Western Association 

Zion Association 

Providence Association 



1 08,-570.00 








?; $'.1,074, (K) 

14,898. 2'J 

(^3,510. 00 



(I $12,200 for parsonages. 

6 $5,028 for improvements, $3,4()0 on debt. 

c For sl.K pastors only. 

d The total valuation of church property of the Baptists Is estimated at $2-5it,200. 

Greene County is noted for its many small towns, among a score of 
which the most prominent are Xenia., with a population of 8,696 ; James- 
town, 1,205; Yellow Springs, 1,371; Cedarville, 1,189; Osborn,948; Bow- 
ersville, 370; Springvalley, 522; and Bellbrook, 352. In five of these, 
viz: Xenia, Jamestown, Yellow Springs, Cedarville, and Wilberforce, 
we find the Negro church. To describe one of these is to describe all 
save Xenia and Wilberforce, the latter a college community, where 
Wilberforce University is located. 


One rides into one of the other of these little towns and here he finds 
two more or less neat little church buildings, with seating" capacity, 
on an average, of about 150 or 200 persons; sometimes of brick, some- 
times frame. At Yellow Springs, the seat of Antioch College, where 
once the great Horace Mann presided, both churches are of brick and 
neat. One of these churches is an African Methodist Episcopal, and 
the other a Baptist Church. Almost invariably you will find that tlie 
younger and more intelligent class of Negroes is at the Methodist 
Church, while the older contingent generally constitute the member- 
ship of the Baptist Church. At the Baptist Church one will find more 
fervency of speech and a more sanctimonious look on the part of l)Oth 
pastor and people, more of heaven and the future is talked of ; at tlie 
Methodist churches there is all of this, but less in proportion. The 
sermons one very probably will hear at the Baptist Church will abound 
in much good thought, ending generally in the same way, with some- 
thing foreign more or less to the text. While the Methodist pastor 
may not be free from digressions, yet he is in every case the more logical 
speaker, and now and then gives his people something out of the "■same 
old way." This is natural, when we know that the pastor of the Bap- 
tist Church is generally a middle-aged man* of l)ut meagre English 
and no theological training, while the pulpit of the Methodist Church 
is occupied by a student in the Theological Seminary at Wilberforce, 
who is also generally the equivalent of a higli school graduate. These 
circumstances account for the above-named facts that the more intelli- 
gent class attends the Methodist Church. This comparison is somewhat 
abnormal when the whole state is considered, because the Methodist 
pastors are students who, were they engaged solely in preaching, would 
have much better churclies, and leave these smaller churches to more 
poorly ecjuipped men, as is the case with the Baptists now. The 
Baptist churches are, however, generally larger than the Methodist 
chiefly because they receive more time from their pastors. This was the 
case up to two years ago. Still there is no friction, but the most cordial 
feeling between both pastors and both flocks. Indeed many of the 
memliers of the Methodist Church take active parts in affairs of the 
Baptist Church, and n'ce versa. The pastors even change their pulpits, 
which once was not common. During the winter of 1902, when the 
revival fever had taken vigorous hold of Greene County, in order that 
there be no disadvantage in fighting Satan occasioned by a division of 
the hosts of the Lord, an agreement was made in Cedarville to the 
effect that one of the denominations would hold its revival and that all 
the members of the other church would give aid. After this first 
revival, then all, regarilless of denomination, should combine their 
forces at the other church. This worked well for both. On the day 

"The pulpit of Cedarville Baptist Church has l)een recently given to a young man— student 
at Wilberforce. 


that the Methodist Church was visited by the writer, he found the 
pastor of the Baptist Cliurcli present to preach. 

In all of these churches the chief stress is put upon "saving souls;" 
that is, in persuading people to forsake sin and accept the Christian 
religion as the guiding force of their lives. And the method is quite 
rational. Usually in the iniddle of the winter, i. e., the first thing in 
the new year, the churches begin their revivals. This first worlv of the 
year lasts from two to eiglit weeks and many come to be saved, and are 
converted. Some of these see visions or dream dreams, some spend 
weeks in mourning, and still others are converted in a few minutes. In 
the revivals the sermons are chiefly on hell and its terrors, the love 
of Christ and God as shown in the suffering and death of Christ, Christ 
seeking sinners, the awful doom of those rejecting Him, etc. They 
abound in pathetic stories, which are related with great feeling, and 
which seldom fail in the desired result. This result is a large number 
of conversions and accessions to the churches. These are in due time 
baptized and admitted to full membership. Then the revival has 
closed, not only having been of great benefit to those converted, but 
also a positive moral help to the community at large. The remaining 
nine or ten months of the year are used for strengthening and teach- 
ing the members in the Christian religion and in the doctrines of the 
church. The Baptists take in their members directly. The Methodists 
require six months of probation, during which the candidate is supposed 
to receive instruction in liis duty as a Cliristian and church member 
by the pastor, beside the regular instruction given from tlie pulpit. In 
none of the Methodist churches of Greene County is this carried out 
fully, but in those where it is attempted with anything like success, 
the results show well in the character of the members. 

If there is any criticism as to method in arousing and directing the 
religious consciousness it should be more severe as regards post-revival 
methods than revival methods. Experienced revivalists, and some 
men of much intelligence living in the county, state that for the aver- 
age Negro congregation tlieir metiiod, though accompanied by much 
of the spectacular, is best suited for those to whom they appeal, but 
that after the "revival" is over the proper oversight is seldom given 
the young Claristian and, as is quite natural, the life is far from tlie 

WiLBERFORCE. — The value of the Wilberforce cliurch consists in the 
fact that many students are interested in Cliristian work, and are 
trained for larger service after leaving school. The pastor of the 
church is the instructor in science and a very devout inan. Under his 
preaching froni forty to eighty students are converted every year. Of 
these some take an active interest in tiie local Christian work, and of 
these latter some enter the ministry. In many states of the Union 
there are men and women earnestly engaged in church, Sunday-scliool, 
Youijg Men's Christian Association Avork, now leaders and pastors. 


who were converted in the Wilberforce revival and got their first 
interest and training here. For tlie training of the newly converted 
there is a class led by one of the instructors. Beside this the Bible 
classes of the Y. M. C. A. and Y. W. C. A., taught by professors in 
tlie University, have in tlie past year been successful in imparting 
systematic knowledge of the Scriptures more than at any previous 

Payne Theological Seminary is at Wilberforce, and its students and 
teachers are local preachers in the church. Its dean is superintendent 
of the Sunday-school. In the Seminary are forty-five students, repre- 
senting South America, South Africa, West Africa, and various states 
in the Union. The class of 190.3 numbers eleven members. 

Xenia. — Xenia is tlie county seat of Greene County and one of the 
oldest towns in the state. Its population by the census of 1900 was 8,696, 
of wlioni 1,988, or ^1.7 per cent., were Negroes. These Negroes are made 
up of about half natives of the state of Ohio and about lialf immigrants 
from Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and other South- 
ern states. In general the immigrants make up the lower class, being 
the poorer and more illiterate. The illiteracy of Xenia Negroes is 
13.42 per cent, for all above ten yenvs, and 1.57 per cent, for those 
between ten years and forty years. About 63 per cent, of Xenia Negroes 
own their homes and they pay taxes on $116,828 worth of property. 
The scliool advantages, througli liigh scliool, are far above ordinary. 
Yet Xenia is a town of but little thrift compared with tlie advantages 
offered. The ciiief businesses are barbers, small groceries and an 
undertaking establishment. While the Negroes are not extraordinarily 
thrifty, they are not, on the other I)and, very vicious. Composing 21.7 
per cent of the population, they furnish 29.9 per cent, of the arrests. 
The number for 1901-2 was ninety-eight. Among these cases were: 
Drunk, ten ; loitei'ing, three ; disorderly, twenty ; drunk and disorderly, 
seven; assault and l)attery, seven ; suspicion, five; safe keeping, eleven; 
stealing ride, seven ; petit larceny, one ; lunacy, two ; burglary, fugitive 
from justice, murder in another state, larceny, threatening, execution, 
one each; gambling, seven; horse stealing, two. 

Xenia, then, is a slow, not good, not bad, conservative, somewhat 
conceited sort of a town, whose people live, in the main, comfortably, 
i. e., according to the general standard for Negroes. 

Negroes have lived in the county ever since it has been established. 
The first count made in the county, in 1803, took a record only of white 
males over twenty-one years of age, but the United States census gives 
the colored population of Xenia only since 1830, as follows : 










5, J 24 



1,S77 6 






a Includes 3 Chinese and Japanese and 3 Indians. 
b Ini'ludes 3 Chinese and 6 civilized Indians, 
c Includes 3 Chinese. 

There are seven churches in Xenia, viz: Three Baptist, one African 
Methodist Episcopal, one Methodist Episcopal, one Wesleyan Metho- 
dist, and one Christian Church. 

The first cliurch in Xenia was established by the African Methodist 
Episcopal connection in 1883. Nothing is known of it save that it was 
on the Hillsboro Circuit, and Rev. Thomas Lawrence was its pastor. 
In 1836 Rev. William Paul Quinn, afterwards bishop of the African 
Methodist Episcopal Cliurch, was pastor. In 1812 the cliurcli was 
called tlie "Greene County Mission," had twenty-five members and 
paid its pastor the neat sum of $7.91. The first Btiptist Church was 
established in 1848. Henry Howe's first "History of Oliio," published 
in 1852, says tliat then Xenia contained one German Churcli, one 
Lutheran Church, one Metliodist Episcopal Church, one Seceders' 
Church, one Associate Reformed Cliurch, one Baistist Church, and two 
churches for colored people. 

Membership. — The seven churches of Xenia report a total membership 
of 1,068, or 53.4 per cent, of the entire Negro population. Tlie member- 
ship is as follows : 

Church. Membership. 

Baptist 640 

Zion 370 

Middle Run 140 

Third 130 

African Methodist Episcopal 240 

Methodist Episcopal 54 

Wesleyan 9 

Christian 125 

Total 1,068 

By a personal count of 1,832 persons made by the writer during May- 
June, 1902, 976, or 53.6 per cent., reported tliemselves as church inem- 
bers. These members were all persons over ten years of age. The 
number of persons counted who were over ten years of age was 1,505. 
Hence 64.8 per cent, of tliese were church members. The following 
table will sliow the membership as reported by the persons themselves: 




Church Members. 

Total Population. 

Percent of 








10 to Ht years 




















44 7 

20 to 29 years 

30 to 31) years 

(i3 3 

40 to 41) years . 


50 to 511 years 

(jO to f>l) years 

74 4 

80 years and over 

94 1 
;i5 7 








(54 8 

This table shows very strikinj>ly that the young people are not for- 
saknip- the church to such an extent as to discard membership. More 
than half for every age period above twenty years are members, and 
in the first period more than half from fifteen to nineteen years of age 
are church members. Tlie excess is of women over men. These per- 
sons are distril)uted throughout all occuisations, but almost invariably 
tliose in tlie most lucrative positions or employments are cliurch mem- 
bers. As to culture, as indicated by scholastic training, it appears from 
a personal count by the writer that out of ninety-five high school 
graduates eighty per cent, are church members — fifty-nine out of 
sixty-seven women, and twenty-one out of twenty-eiglit men. In tlie 
African Methodist Church the principal of the high scliool is superin- 
tendent of tlie Sunday-scliool, and tlie principal of the elementary 
school, although a woman, is a class leader. The only college graduate 
in tlie city is also an ordained minister connected with the local African 
Methodist Episcopal Cliurch. As to material standing of the church 
members it is noted that of the 318 families who own their homes 288, 
or 90.6 per cent., were connected with the church by some member of 
the family, and 237 of them were connected by the head of the family. 

The chief means of increasing the membership is through the revival, 
which is substantially the same as conducted in other parts of the 
county. Last year there were 175 conversions, of whom sixty-nine 
were under twenty years of age, and eleven were over forty years, 
according to the report of the pastors. (See table, page 104.) 

Activities. — These churches make some attempt to satisfy all the legiti- 
mate social desires of their members. There are sick benefit societies, 
educational societies. Home and Foreign Missionary Societies, Cliris- 
tian Endeavor Societies, Baptist Young People's Unions, sewing cir- 
cles, besides various temporary organizations for raising money and 
other purposes. These are in addition to the organizations fundamen- 
tal to the church government, such as in the Methodist Church, the 
various conferences, boards of trustees, stewards, spiritual officers, 
Sunday-school, etc. 


As before stated, tlie chief activity is to preach and teach Christian 
doctrine and morality. The metlaod for this is preaching in all the 
churches two or three times on Sunday, once or twice during the week, 
prayer-meeting on Wednesday night, class-meeting once a week in the 
Methodist Church and pastoral visiting, beside monthly love feasts or 
covenant meetings. As a means to this end is the material side of the 
church life to be looked after, and this is chiefly in regard to raising 
funds for the pastor's salary, current expenses, the debt, improvements, 
general purposes, etc. This is done by way of the Sunday and weekly 
collections and by organizing the members into clubs to solicit sub- 
scriptions or to raise funds by concerts and other entertainments. In 
this way the African Methodist Episcopal Church paid its debt of some 
$400 last year. 

The next function of the church is the purely social. This is carried 
forward in other organizations and as a part of the more religious and 
financial activity. At church service old friends are met and new ones 
often made, but as no part of the special program. To raise money 
socials are given, etc., so that as secondary through all the activity 
there is the pui'ely social. Along literary and musical lines, in spite of 
the fact that Negroes have free access to the theatre, the University 
Extension Courses, and the Y. M. C. A. lecture courses, the church is 
still the most powerful factor in Xenialile. Here the local talent finds 
the best opportunity for expression and development, and here the 
best available talent is brought from afar. In the Baptist Church last 
year there were ten lectures and two higli class concerts. Among the 
lecturers was Rev. M. C. B. Mason, one of tlie most distinguished Negro 
orators. The Methodist (African) Church had during this year Miss 
Flora Batson, the noted singer, and a few weeks later the Canadian 
Jubilee Singers to entertain the people. In this way the church fulfills 
a social need which neither the extension courses or the theatre would 
fulfill — that of bringing the Negroes into touch with some of the best 
of their own race. 

The table below will show that there is not much charity work done 
in Xenia by the churches, chiefly because there is not much need for 
such. Last year the churches gave as follows : 

Zion Baptist $ I'.'i 00 

Middle Run Baptist 7 IX) 

St. John African Metliodist Episcopal 50 oo 

Total $ S-i.OO 

Eighty-two dollars are reported, but the amount of charity work is 
more. By this it is seen that Middle Run Baptist Church reports $7, 
but Middle Run takes care of an old woman of eighty yeai's, granting 
her free rent of a small house owned by the church and furnishing her, 
from time to time, with otlier necessities. In times of sickness, in 
many ways the church influences charity, though it does not get credit 



for it. On the first Sunday of eacli month most of the cliurclies take 
an offering called the ''Poor Saints' Collection." Beside this there are 
connected with several of the churches sick benefit societies. For 
instance, connected with Zion Baptist there are two: The Ladies' 
Home Aid and the Ladies' Auxiliary, both of which are especially 
designed to helf) the sick. There is practically no prison work under- 
taken by tlie churches of Xenia, except an occasional visit to the work- 
house or jail by one of the pastors. 

Pastors. — The pastors of Xenia are all men of high moral character, 
as is the universal testimony of those who have given opinions. They 
ai'e all men of zeal for their work, intelligent, though none are college 
graduates. (See table, page 105.) It seems that Xenia has always had 
as ministers men of good reputations and high character. A historian* 
of Greene County, writing in 1881, speaking of the different Negro 
ministers of the city, said of one: "He has always l)een an upright 
Christian man;" of another: "By his gentlemanly deportment and 
Christian walk, he has gained many warm friends;" of another : "A 
congenial, attractive man, he shows from his fruits that he practices 
what he preaches;" of another: "The people of this county will find it 
a hard matter to fill his place should he be called to some other locality." 

Value of Church Properties, Indebtedness, Pastor's Salary and Total Amount Raised by 
Churches of Greene County 


Value of Property. 








Baptist — 


Middle Run 

$ ll',00() 



Use Chapel of Wilber- 
force University — 


$ 5(X).()0 



Yellow Springs. 

223 25 


Massies' Creek 

Methodist Episcopal 

2(;() ()o 

6-10 00 



300 00 

250 00 



600 00 

A. M. E.- 


956 71 


316 80 

Yellow Springs 

495 85 


Wilberforce | 



Dill's History of Greene County. 

General Financial Statistics 









c 5 



S o 
r- a 

5 '3 





$ 100.00 

' $82! GO 



500 09 

176 00 
3.50 00 


Middle Run 



Yellow Springs 



210 00 







8 54.17 
2 40 
15 00 

280 00 

2 (iO 


Methodist Episcopal 


92 00 

m . 00 

:{7 20 

IS. 78 


118 72 

'" 7'00 

37. SO 
11.. 50 
120 00 

10 W» 






167.. 50 
2.. 50 
2.50 -(K1 





125. (X) 



A. M. E.— 


49 . (W 


60 (M) 





Yellow Springs 


1,178 00 




The questions on the schedules for ''Data from Negro Churches" 
were answered as follows hy the pastors of Greene County : 


What do the churches need most? 

Preachers that study the Bible and teach it in its purity 

Educated ministers on fire with glory of God and uplift of the people. 

Leaders, pure, courageous, with executive ability 

Educated, e.xperienced, courageous, and honest men as preachers. . . 

Religion and good sense 

Religion and faithful ministers, and refinement 

Revival of religion and money 

More of the spirit of Christ 

Better attendance and support from members 



What is the pastor's greatest difficulty? 

Lack of conscientious Bible study on his part 1 

Minister too abusive and people too sensitive 1 

Lack of courage and ability on part of minister 1 

Unconverted membership 1 

Irregular and desultory attendance of members 2 

Lack of co-operation on part of members 1 

Difficulty of getting people to live Christian lives after joining the 

chtirch 1 

Immorality and ignorance of the people 1 




Are the morals of the people being raised or lowered in respect to 
sexual morals, honesty, home life, truth-telling, etc.? 

Raised 5 

Raised by fifty per cent 1 

Doubtful 1 

Very little as to sexual morals, home life and truth-telling; some as 
to honesty 1 


Is the Sunday-school effective ? 

Yes 8 

How can it be improved ? 

By co-operation of parents 4 

Systematic visiting through the week 1 

Gathering the little children 1 


How many persons joined the church last year? 
How many of these were under 20 years of age? 
How many were over 40 years of age? 




20 Years. 

Over 40 

Zion ... ... 







Middle Run 


Yellow Springs 






Massles' Creek 

Methodist Epi.scopal . 

Weslevan Methodist 













A. M. E.— 


St. John, Xenia 








































• 1901. Report for 1902 not available. f Estimated. 


Is there much shouting or emotion? 

Not very much 8 

Considerable emotion, occasional shouting 1 

Yes 1 

Too much for the good done 1 



Are the youno-er set of educated people joining the churcli and helping 
in 'ts \vork ? 

Yes 8 

To some extent 1 

Slowly ; they do a little 1 


Sketches of Pastors of Greene County 

(This includes also the A. M. E. and :\[. E. Presiding Elders.) 

Church of Which 




Zion I 

Middle Run 



.Ja int'stdwn 

Yclhiw .Springs 

Massies" (..'reek. 

Melliodist Episcopal 
Wesleyan Metliudist. 


A M E.— 




Yellow Springs 


Presiding Elder A. M.E. 
Presidins Elder M. E.. . 



South Carolina 

No pastor. 

No pastor 


Ohio . . . . 

Louisiana , 



Indiana. . . 


High School. 

Common Schools of South Carolina. 

Common School. 

Common Scho(d. 

Common School. 

"Very limited.'' 

High School Graduate. 

\ Common 8<daool and Member of 

\ Class 'ft:!, Theological Seminary. 

\ Theological and High School 

I Graduate. 

ii Grammar School and Graduate 

( Theological, "ii;!. 

College Graduate. 



Opinions of Negro Church 

These opinions are from peojile of long residence and good standing 
in Greene Coinity. Tiiey are as to occupations as follows: 

Pastors 6 

Presiding Elders 2 

Physicians 2 

College Professors 3 

Dean Theological Seminary 1 

Principal High School 1 

Principal Elementary School 1 

Barbers 2 

Grocer 1 

Student 1 

Total 20 



So far as you have observed, what is the present condition of the 

churches in your community ? 

Very gratifying 1 

Improving 2 

Embarrassed financially 2 

Fair 3 

Good 5 

Some answered this question as follows: 

Financially, poor 2 

Financially, fair 

Financially, good 

Intellectually, fair 

Intellectually, good 

Spiritually, dull 

Spiritually, fair 2 


Is tlieir influenee, on the whole, toward pure, honest living? 

Yes 12 

Not as much as should be B 

I n part, but not all 2 

Largely so 2 

Generally so 1 


(a) Are the ministers usually g-ood men ? 

Yes 16 

Usually, not universally 2 

(6) Their chief faults? 

Whiskey and women 2 

(This does not apply to those in Greene County.) 

Illiteracy and want of deep convictions 1 

(This also does not apply to those in Greene County.) 

Desire to be popular 1 

Failure to study 1 


Of the ministers whom you know, how many are notoriously immoral ? 
What direction does their immorality take ? Cite instances. 

This question, like the third, was generally answered for the general 
condition and not as applying to Greene County in particular, as 
directed. One man of wide experience says he knows twenty-four 
notoriously immoral preachers, but there are only twenty-five in the 
county, including those who are idle and who preach outside of the 

None 11 

A few 1 

Two 2 

Twenty-four 1 


"Eighty-five per cent, are good men, five per cent, dishonest in money matters, 
ten per cent, tinctured with sexual impurity."— A Presiding Elder. 

"I know a dozen who are immoral, basing my reply upon facts given by others." 
— A principal of city schools. 

As to kinds of immorality, see above, and also- 
Sexual impurity and drunkenness 1 

Sexual impurity, dishonesty in money matters, and drunkenness 3 

Dishonesty in money matters 1 


Is the Sunday-school effective in teaching children good manners and 

sound morals ? 

Yes 10 

In a large degree 1 

Generally 3 

To some degree 5 

Not as much as might be 1 


Do the churches with wliicli you are acquainted do much charitable 
work ? 

Yes 3 

Some 6 

Not much " 

Considerable among the poor 1 

Yes, in large cities 1 


Do the young people join the church and support it? 

Some do 4 

Only a few 2 

Yes, but about one-fourth support it 2 

Yes 5 

Yes, but do not support well 3 

Not all, but a fair proportion 3 

Young women do, but not many young men 1 


What is the greatest need of our churches ? 

Pure gospel and money 1 

More enforcement of spiritual duty of the church 2 

Ministers of broader culture and deeper piety 3 

Systematic business methods, trained men in pulpits, doctrinal 
preaching, and an earnest desire to persuade men to .serve God from 

choice 1 

Religious enthusiasm, sound financial basis, respect for pa.stor 1 

Higher ideals and deeper Christianity 1 

Educated and called ministry 1 

Pure religion, money, and education 1 

Fewer churches, better preachers, better religion 1 

More love for church and each other on part of members 2 

Money, and instruction in race pride, and business 1 

Good morals, home training, and piety 1 


Are the standards of morality in your community being raised or 
lowered in respect to sexual morals, home life, honesty, etc ? Give 


Eaisotl 14 

Inclined to think raised 1 

Raised very little 1 

Kaised to some extent 1 

"Twelve or thirteen years ago the patrol was constantly called to a class of 
resorts which have been wiped out." 

"Xenia, Jamestown, Cedarville, Yellow Springs, are 'dry.' " 
"Greater condemnation of men who deceive women." 

21. An Eastern City.* Philadelphia, Pa., gives an opportunity to 
study the growth of the Negro church for over a century. In 1800 there 
were in that county i 7,000 Negroes and three Negro churches, founded 
as follows : 

1792— St. Thomas Episcopal . 

17i»l— Bethel African jNIethodist Episcopal 

17111— Zoar Methodist Episcopal. 

In 1813, when there were al)out 11,000 Negroes in the city, there were 
the following churches and members : 

St. Thomas, Protestant Episcopal iifiO 

Bethel, African Methodist Episcopal 1,272 

Zoar, Methodist Episcopal SO 

Union, African Methodist Episcopal 74 

Baptist, Race and Vine Streets SO 

Presbyterian iJOO 

Total 2,3(;(i 

There were a])out 17,500 Negroes in 1838: 





c: X 

Oh . 





^ X 

- t^ 




% "^ 











$ :!c>,ooo 





$ 1.000 




















$ 111,000 

$ 7,100 

In 1847 the popubition had grown to 20,000. There were nineteen 
churches; twelve of these reported 3,971 members; the property of 
eleven cost $()7,000. After the Nvar the population had increased to 22,000. 
There were the following churches in 1867: 

=-'From the more elaborate .study on the Philadelphia Negro (Ginn). 
tCity and County are to-day co-termiuous. 






Pastor's Salary. 

Protestant f]plsfopal— 
St. Thomtis 







11 U 





% 50.000 
11, 00 

$ (>00 




John Weslev .... 

Little Wesley 




Zion City Mission 

Little Union 

Baptist — 

First Baptist 

Union Baptist 

5,01 »0 



Oak Street 




Presbyterian — 
First Presbyterian 


Second Presbyterian 

Central Presbyterian 



By 1880 (population o0,(l00) there were twenty-five eiiurehes and mis- 
sions. In 1897 there were a])OUt 60,000 Negroes in the city, and the 
following: churches : 






African :Methodist KiJiscopal 

African Methodist Episcopal Zion 






$ 202,220 

% 27,074 

ITnion African Methodist Episcopal 

:Methodist Protestant 

Methodist Episcopal 




l(i :{'il 


Presliy terian 

Protestant Elpiscopal 

Roman Catholic 


There are tliree other small churches, making fifty-five churches in 
all, with 1.3,000 members, $910,000 worth of property, and an annual in- 
come of $95,000. In 1900 Pliiladelpliia liad 62,618 Negroes. 

The general character of cliurch life is thus set forth : 

"Perhaps the pleasantest and most interesting social intercourse takes place on 
Hunday ; the weary week's work is done, the people have slept late and have had a 
good breakfast, and sally forth to church well dressed and complacent. The usual 
hour of the morning service is eleven, but people stream in until after twelve. The 
sermon is usually short and stirring, but in the larger churches elicits little re- 
sponse other than an 'Amen' or two. After the sermon the social features begin ; 
notices on the various meetings of the week are read, people talk with each other 


in subdued tones, take their contributions to the altar, and linger in the aisles and 
corridors after dismission to laugh and chat until one or two o'clock. Then they 
go home to good dinners. Sometimes there is some special three o'clock service, 
but usually nothing, save Sunday-school, until night. Then comes the chief 
meeting of the day; probably 10,000 Negroes gather every Sunday night in their 
churches. There is much music, much preaching, some short addresses; many 
strangers are there to be looked at; many beaus bring out their belles, and those 
who do not, gather in crowds at the church door and escort the young women 
home. The crowds are usually well-behaved and respectable, though rather more 
jolly than comports with a Puritan idea of church services. 

"In this way the social life of the Negro centers in his church — baptism, wedding 
and burial, gossip and courtship, friendship and intrigue — all lie in these walls. 
What wonder that this central club-house tends to become more and more luxu- 
riously furnished, costly in appointment and easy of access ! 

"It must not be inferred from all this that the Negro is hypocritical or irreligious. 
His church is, to be sure, a social institution first, and religious afterwards, but 
nevertheless, its religious activity is wide and sincere. In direct moral teaching 
and setting moral standards for the people, however, the church is timid, and 
naturally so, for its constitution is democracy tempered by custom. Negro preach- 
ers are condemned for poor leadership and empty sermons, and it is said that men 
with so much power and influence cotild make striking moral reforms. This is but 
partially true. The congregation does not follow the moral precepts of the 
preacher, but rather the preacher follows the standard of his flock, and only excep- 
tional men dare seek to change this. And here it must be remembered that the 
Negro preacher is primarily an executive officer rather than a spiritual guide. If 
one goes into any great Negro church and hears the sermon and views the audience, 
one would say, either the sermon is far below the calibre of the audience, or the 
people are less sensible than they look. The former explanation is usually true. 
The preacher is sure to be a man of executive ability, a leader of men, a shrewd and 
affable president of a large and intricate corporation. In addition to this, he may 
be, and usually is, a striking elocutionist. He may also be a man of integrity, 
learning, and deep spiritual earnestness; but these last three are sometimes all 
lacking, and the last two in many cases. Some signs of advance are here manifest : 
no minister of notoriously immoral life, or even of bad reputation, could hold a 
large church in Philadelphia without eventual revolt. Most of the present pastors 
are decent, resj^ectable men. There are perhaps one or two exceptions to this, but 
the exceptions are doubtful rather than notorious. On the whole, then, the aver- 
age Negro preacher in this city is a shrewd manager, a respectable man, a good 
talker, a pleasant companion, but neither learned nor spiritual, nor a reformer. 

"The moral standards are, therefore, set by the congregations, and vary, from 
church to church, in some degree. There has been a slow working toward a literal 
obeying of the Puritan and ascetic standard of morals which Methodism imposed 
on the freedmen, but condition and temperament have modified these. The grosser 
forms of immorality, together with theatre-going and dancing, are specifically 
denounced; nevertheless, the precepts against specific amusements are of ten vio- 
lated by church members. The cleft between denominations is still wide, espe- 
cially between Methodists and Bapti'sts. The sermons are usually kept within the 
safe ground of a mild Calvinism, with much insistence on salvation, grace, fallen 
humanity, and the like."* 

• I'hiliidelphia Xegru, p. 204, ff. 


22. Present Condition of Churches — The Baptists. 

"In the minutes of the old Savannali Association f<_)r 1M2, is the following note: 
'The Association is sensibly ati'ected by the death of Rev. Andrew Bryan, a man of 
color and pastor of the first colored church in Savannah. This son of Africa, after 
suffering inexpressible i:)ersecutions in the cause of his Divine Master, was permit- 
ted to discharge the duties of his ministry among his colored friends in peace and 
quiet, hundreds of whom through his instrumentality were brought to a knowledge 
of the truth as it is in Jesus. He closes his useful and amazingly luminous course 
in the lively exercise of faith and in ihe joyful hope of a happy immortality.' 

"The most of the colored Baptists were at this period identified with white 
churches, and in churches of mixed membership the whites were often in the 
minority. In the mixed churches of this period, the colored members had no voice 
in affairs, unless in the reception and discipline of members of their own race. After 
the emancipation of slaves, the Negro Baptists of the Southern states very gener- 
ally separated from the white churches, and organized churches and Associations 
of their own. Other colored Baptist churches of that section, that were organized 
at an earlier periotl, besides the one at Savannah, above mentioned, are the Spring- 
field Baptist Church, Augusta, Ga., 1790, and the one at Portsmouth, Ya., 1841 ; the 
Nineteenth Street Baptist Church of Washington, D. C, 1832; one in Louisville, 
Ky., 1842; one in Baltimore, Md., 1836. In the Northern and "Western states, the 
earliest organized colored Baptist churches are the Abyssinian of New York City, 
1803; the Independent of Boston, 1805; the First of Philadelphia, 1809; Ebenezer 
of New Y^ork City, 1825; the Union of Cincinnati, 1827; the Union of Philadelphia, 
1832; the Union of Alton, 111., 1838. 

"The Western states organized the first colored Baptist Association. The Provi- 
dence Baptist Association of Ohio was organized in 1836, and the W'ood Eiver Bap- 
tist Association of Illinois in 1838. The number of colored Baj^tists in the United 
States in 1850 is reported but in part. In fifteen Southern states and four Northern 
states, 100 out of 336 Associations report 89,695 colored members. There is no re- 
port from 146 Southern Associations, but high authority puts the whole number of 
colored Baptists in this country in 1850 at 150,(X)0. Then we have a nttmerical 
growth of Negro Baptists in America from 150,000 in 1850 to 1,604,310 in 1894; an 
increase of 1,454,310 in forty-four years, which is an increase of over 33,000 net each 
year. From one ordained preacher in 1777 to 10,119 in 1894; from one church in 
1788 to 13,138 churches in 1894, or an average increase of 124 churches each year; 
increase in valuation of church property from nothing in 1788 to .$11,271,651." * 

The Baptist churches ituite in Associations and State Conventions for 
missionary and educational work. For a long time, however, it seemed 
impossible to unite any large numl)er of them in a National Convention, 
but this has at last Ijeen done. 

The National Baptist Convention was organized at Atlanta, Ga., 
September 28, 1895. Its objects are missionary and educational work, 
and the publication of religious literature. The membership consists of 
representatives of churches, Sunday-schools, Associations, and State 
Conventions of Baptists, and of such individual Baptists as wish to join. 
The Convention meets annually, and has a president, vice-presidents 
from each state, a statistical secretary, and other officers. This Con- 

* Growth of the Negro Baptists, by R. De Baptiste, isyii. 



ventioii elects annually a Foreign Mission Board, a Home Mission 
Board, an Educational Board, and a Baptist Young People's Union 
Board. These boards all consist of one member trom each state repre- 
sented, and elect tlieir own otiicers and executive committee so located 
as to be able to meet monthly. The Convention also collects statistics 
concerning the Negro Baptists throughout the United States. The 
Conventions of 1901 and 1902 follow. 

These figures are not altogether accui'ate. hut are probably under- 
statements rather than exaggerations.* 

The most remarkable result of the united efforts of the Negro Baptists 
is rhe Home Mission department, including the pul)lishing house : 

"It has been the policy of our Board from its incipiency to do whatever mission- 
ary work that is done in any state in co-operation with the regular state authori- 
ties or state organizations in their organized capacity. 

"We beheve also that when this policy of our Board is better understood, 
the churches, Associations and Conventions will contribute more liberally to the 
advancement of the work of our Board. While we liave not been able to do as much 
in this co-operative mission work as we had hoped, yet we have done what we 
could. We have gone as far as our limited means would allow. The following is 
a summary of tlie missionary work done by our Board and hy ils co-operative policy 
in the United States: 


Sermons preached 

Sunday schools addrossetl 

Prayei'-meelings atl ended 

B. Y. P. U. meetings atU'iuiert 

WoiiHui's meetings atidrcssed 

Ol her addresses m.'Kh* .. 

Total number addresses made... 

Convent ions, Associations and wo- 
nuMi's meelings visited since last 

Niiinl)er of letters and cards writ- 

Number of circulars and tracts 
(fist ribu ted 

Number of l)oolvs anil tracts dona- 

Books sold 

Money collected 

Total' amount of mon(>y received 
from all sources 

Subscriptions to the T'nion 

Money collected for same 

Da vs of service rendered 

Homes visited 

Homes found without Bibles 

( Muii'clies \isited 

Sunday-schools organized 

Missionary societies organized. .. 


Miles traveled bv railroad 

Cost of travel 

Miles t raveled otherwise 

Cost of same 

Total t raveling expense 

Total amouiu of money sent to 
National Baptist Publishing 

Amount of the money collected 
ai)i)lied to salaries 

Tt)tal amount of money collected 
ami left wit h churches 

Numl)er of Missionary Confer- 
ences held 

Paid on salarl<>s 

Total paid on salaries 










S 281.a5 



'■'A prominent church offlcial writes : 

"The stiitisties are not correct. For instance, von will notice New Jersey. At the time of getting 
the statistics from there we had only thirty-six churches. I have just returned from there, and 
know that they havesixly-seven. What is true of that state is true of many others. 

"\Vc have a very poor way of getting accurate statistics. ^Ve have had to depend upon the 
various minutes of the state meetings and, as you know, our people attend these meetings if 
they wish and let it alone if they please. There is no reason nor power to compel them to give 
stiitisties. A great number of our churches do not attend the Associations and a great number 
of our Associations do not attend the State Conventions and a number uf the State Conventions 
are not represented in our National Convention. Therefore, you see that we only have to get 
such statistics as are in co-opcralion with us." 



"It has been our custom, from year to year, to call the attention of our Conven- 
tion to the work of correspondence of our Board. This is done with a view of giv- 
ing the members somewhat of an idea of the magnitude of this portion of our 
work. For the benefit of those who may be interested, we quote the following 
number of first-class letters received and disposed of by answers by the Corre- 
sponding Secretary and his assistants during the fiscal year: 

September, 1901 4,303 

October, 1901 6,255 

November, l'<»01 2,243 

December, 1901 3,355 

January, 1902 5,V«38 

February, 1902 2,709 

March, 1902 6,432 

April, 1902 9,t>07 

May, 1902 4,866 

June, 1902 8,576 

July, 1902 7,922 

August, bH)2 2,720 

Grand total for the .vear 64,956 

General Summary of Baptists in the United States 









$ 11,605.S',»1 




Churches .... 


Ordained ministers 


Present membership in the United States 

Meeting houses 



Teachers and oflBcers 



1 12.19i!,130 



Pupils in Sunday-schools 


Total in Sunday-schools 




Church expenses 

Sunday-school expenses 

State Missions 

Foreign Missions 

Home Mission and Publication. 

Total raised during the year 











"The Publishing Board of the National Baptist Convention is acting as trustees 
of the Convention in holding and managing the publishing concern. It is com- 
posed of a committee of nine, and the vacancies are filled by three each year. These 
form the charter or corporate members and are incorporated under the laws of 
Tennessee, and hold and operate the property in trust for the National Baptist 
Association, and are amenable to our Home Board. They, under the authority of 
our Home Board, have their regular organization of chairman, secretary and treas- 
urer. The secretary and treasurer is one and the same person, who is required to 
execute and file in the courts of Davidson County a suitable and sufficient, well 
secured bond. This has been the requirement since this board was inaugurated in 

"In order to curtail the expenses and economize in our work, the Home Mission- 
ary Board lias operated its missionary and Bible work under the management of 
the Publishing Board, together with its publication work. The experiment has 
proved a profitable one, and we find that the business has been operated with less 
than one-half the expense of other denominations doing similar work. In fact, 
the Corresponding Secretary of the Home Mission Board, upon a meagre salary, has 
operated the missionary work, and has acted as secretary, treasurer and general 
manager of the National Baptist Publishing Board. By blending the four offices 
into one we have been able to save the salary of three other secretaries. This is one 
of the great causes or economical provisions that have enabled your board to give 
a dividend to missions each year. 

"The publishing plant and offices are located at the corner of Market and Locust 
streets, one-half block from the Louisville and Nashville passenger depot. Market 
street is one of the greatest business thoroughfares in the city of Nashville. This 
plant occupies four brick buildings, one one-story, two two-story, and one three- 
story building. The scattered condition of the plant makes it very inconvenient to 
operate the machinery in carrying on the great volume of manufacturing that is 
necessary to supply the increasing demands of this institution. 

"This plant consists of a large first-class steam boiler, two engines, a complete 
electric plant, a complete system of telephones, with a well-regulated set of the 
most improved power printing presses, a well-regulated bindery, with all the 
machinery and eijuipment that is commonly attached to the most modern 
printing and publishing plant, together with a complete composing room, with all 
of the modern paraphernalia, including linotype machines. This plant, with its 
stock, is fully worth to the denomination $100,000 and if it were in a stock com- 
pany its stock, if placed at .'i;iOO,000, would sell in the market at par, and its income 
would pay a creditable dividend. 

"The board has been compelled to purchase and exchange a considerable amount 
of its machinery. The authorities or managers were unable to foresee the large 
increase of work that would be necessary to supply the necessities. They, therefore, 
supplied themselves with machinery and material in proportion to then present 
needs of the institution, but so marvelous has been the increase that the machin- 
ery and quarters were found inadequate to meet the demands. They have, there- 
fore, been compelled to exchange old machinery and buy new at a considerable 
loss in the dealings. They have been compelled to lease or rent other buildings. 
These increased demands have also created a demand for more and better skilled 
laborers, and they have, therefore, been compelled to increase the wages in each 
department in order to secure the help needed. 



'•The Book Department of our work is divided into three departments. First, 
books bought of other publishers and dealers and sold with or without profit to 
supply the needs of our patrons. Secondly, books manufactured by ourselves for 
the exclusive use of the denomination. Third, books manufactured for the author 
as job work, and, at the same time, bought and retailed by our board. These three 
features of the book work constitute the major portion of our actual work. 

"The periodical and Sunday-school departments deal almost exclusively with 
the rising element of our denominaton. In other words, in this department we 
are preparing the future church. In this periodical department we are sending 
fresh publications to the homes of our churches each quarter, month and week. 
We are thereby moulding the doctrines and opinions and shaping the destiny of 
the future church and race. The expression that we now put forth may be criti- 
cised by some, but we give it as our opinion that it is impossible for any race of 
people to keep their identity, sway their influence, keep pace with other races, 
hold the influence over their otfspring, unless they provide themselves with litera- 
ture and keep before their rising generation the great men that are passing from 
the stage of action. Artists and poets have done more to make the Caucasian great 
than has the writer of prose. The Negro Baptists of this country, therefore, will 
be compelled to cease talking or discussing cheap literature for their children, but 
they must discuss, produce or provide literature capable of keeping the identity and 
increasing race pride of the rising generation or they must be entirely overshadowed 
by the dominant race of this country, and each child born of Negro parents must 
be brought to feel that his God has made him inferior by nature to other races 
with whom he comes in contact. We, therefore, feel the value of the literature 
produced by the National Baptist Publishing Board cannot be measured by dollars 
and cents. 

"The following is a list and number of periodicals published and circulated by 
our Board during the years 1900, 1901 and 1902 : 



Advant-ed Quarterlies 

Intermediate Quarterlies 

Primary Quarterlies 

Leatlets and Oems 

Pirturt' Ijt'sson Cards 

Bible Lfsson Pictures 

National Baptist Concert Quarterly 

Child's Gem 

Davidson's Questions 

Boyd's Questions 

National Baptist Easy Lessons 


41 (■,,()( 10 
275,01 K) 












"These periodicals have been published and mailed to our Sunday-schools at 
such prices as in reality do not pay for the expense of producing them. In fact, 
our thirty-two paged magazines are retailed to our Sunday-schools, with the post- 
age paid, cheaper than blank paper could be received through the mail. We call 
the attention of the Convention to this fact in order that they may see and know 
under what difficulties we are laboring. 

"We are glad to call the attention again this year to the department of our work 
of issuing circulars and tracts. We still hold to the opinion that more people are 


inlluenced by tracts than by any other publications, and, as we have had occasion to 
say in the preface of the introductory of one of our little booklets, that the colored 
people, more than any other in this country, need the use of short and concise 
tracts ; that is, they need Bible doctrine, true gospel teaching, put in plain, sim- 
ple, concise form, and furnished to them in such a way that they can read it. A 
glance at the census of 1900 will show that the illiteracy in the South reaches over 
50 per cent., but as this may be overdrawn, it is perfectly safe to say that 40 per 
cent, of the colored people are illiterate, and 20 per cent, of those who can read 
and write are not fluent readers. Sixty per cent, of those who can read are youths — 
children. Therefore, it is very essential that reading matter for these people must 
not be in large and soggy books, but must be in small books, booklets, tracts and 
pamphlets. Our board has endeavored to turn some attention to raising a tract 
fund, but has done very little as yet. 

"We are in need of both money and writers to produce these tracts. Addresses, 
papers and sermons read or delivered before the different annual gatherings, if 
they were put in print and circulated among the people, would do much toward 
elevating them. We have been able this year to publish a few tracts for free dis- 
tribution. We have been able to print and distribute through our free distribution 
system something over 40,000 tracts. These the writers have contributed free of 



Balance on hand $ 1,0.54 (i9 

Fourth quarter, UK)! 12,ir.i i)l 

First quarter, lilO'i l(),s-.',-) c.U 

Second quarter, 1902 15,S84 82 

Third quarter, 1W)2 18,782.77 

Total receipts from Business Department S 58,66fi 38 


From Woman's Auxiliary Convention $ 75 00 

From Home Mission Board of Southern Baptist 

Convention 1,800 IX) 

From Woman's Auxiliary of Southern Baptist 

Convention ,50 (10 

By missionary collections («) 3,!i38.87 

By siJi'cial niissionarv collections (b) 2S1 3.5 

By designated collections (c) 79 80 S 5,824.52 


From Sunday-school Board of Southern Baptist 

Convention $ 121 25 

By other donations 119 00 

For colportage and book work 2,1(ki 94 

From special periodical donations 230 !io 

From special tract donations 109. 3ii 

For special Bible work in Africa 35.71 

From general missionary and Bible donation. .. 432.48 $ .3,149.64 


From subscriptions to Union $ 499.91 

From advertisements 510 (K) 

From negotiable notes 738 26 

From periodicals uncollected 1,129.57 

From printing uncollected accounts 2,205.58 

Remaining in hands of colporters and mission- 
aries unreported 1,683.78 S 6,767.10 

Grand total $ 74,407.64 





Wages, printing material and Editorial Depart- 
ment $30,:?26.51 

Merchandise, notes, machinery and other mis- 
cellaneous 17,073.84 

Coal, Ice, freight, drayage, boarding horses, etc . 2,S42.54 

Rents, water tax, gas, commission, Insurance, 
traveling and special missions 2,127 92 

Stamps, postage, telephone, telegrams, electrici- 
ty, etc 5,m) Jil 

Tobalance in hand it;54 94 

Total disbursements of Business Department. $ 5S,<JtK).:58 


In salaries of district secretaries, state and local 
missionaries, male and female $ 5,824.52 

In expenses, books. Bibles, tracts and periodi- 
cals donated by them 3,149 (U 

Salary of secretary, advertising, special traveling 
expenses, uncollected accounts, negotiable 
notes, manuscripts, etc ti,7G7 10 3 15,741.2(5 

Grand total S 71,1(>7.<)4 

"Notwithstanding the failure of crops of 1901, by glancing over the report of the 
work done for the year it will be seen that this institution is not only self-support- 
ing, but besides defraying its own expenses, lias been able to spend on missionaries 
and their traveling expenses $11,683.19, and on machinery, notes, etc., which stand 
as a sinking fund, !F5,35'2.4S, making a dividend to tlie denomination of $17,035.67; 
and, if we add in the $1,601.09 deficit for running the denominational paper, and 
the $3,335.15 outstanding accounts for work and periodicals during the year, and 
$1,683.78 in the hands of agents, missionaries and colporters unreported, it will be 
seen that the denomination has a clear dividend arising from the work of these 
boards of $23,655.69." 

The Negro Baptists support eighty schools, as follows : 

List of Institutions by States 




Baptist Universltv 


Normal College 

Eufaula Academy 



Opelika High School 

Thomsonvllle Academy 


liitth' Rock. 





Magnolia Academv 



Florida Institute 

Uve Oak. 


West Florida Baptist Academy .... 


Walker Academy 

Jeruel Academv 




C^entral City College 

Southern Illinois Polytechnic Institute . 
Indiana Colored Baptist University . . . 





List of Institutions by States— Continued 




Indian Territory 
Kentucky . , . 



Missouri . . . 
North Carolina 

Ohio .... 

South Carolina 

Tennessee . . 



Dawes Academy . . 
Sango Baptist College 

State ITniversltv 

Cadez Theolouical Institute 
Femalf Hit;h S<-h<)ol . . . 
Glasgow Normal Institute . 

Western College 

Danville Institute .... 
Hopkinsville College . . . 
Eckstein Norton University 

Leiand Academy 

Baton Rouge Academy 

Houma Academy 

Morgan C'ity Academy 

Howe Institute 

Opelousas Academy 

Central Louisiana Academy 

Cherryville Academy 

Baptist Academy 

Monroe High School 

Ruston Academy 

Shreveport Academy 

Mansfield Academy 

North Louisiana Industrial High School 

Clayton "Williams Institute 

Natchez College 

Gloster High School . . . 

Central College 

Greneda High School . . . 
Meridian High School . . 
Ministerial Institute . . . 
Nettleton High School . . 
Greenville High School . . 
New Albany High School . 

Western College 

Wharton Industrial School 

Ijatta University 

High School 

Shiloh Industrial Institute 
Thomson's Institute . . . 
Addii' Norris' Institute . . 

Training Scliool 

Roanoke Institute .... 
Albemarle Training School 
Bertie Academy 









Cane Springs. 

Donald sonville. 

Baton Rouge. 


Morgan City. 

New Ilieria. 




Ijake Providence. 












West Point. 



New Albany. 


Curry School 

Mather School . . . . 
Peace Haven Institute 

Howe Institute 

Nelson Merry College . . 
Le.xington Normal School 

Guadalupe College . . 
Central Texas Academy 
Houston Academy . . 
Hearne Academy . . 

Virginia Seminary and College , 
Union Industrial Academy . 












Broad River. 

Jefferson City. 


Port Conway. 

Total numljer of schools 

Valuation of property 

; 564,000 


Twenty of the above schools reported last year as follows : 

Teachers, males 75 

Teachers, females 73 

Total 148 

Students, males 1,833 

Students, females 1,531 

Total students 3,364 

Total in Home Missionary Society 
Schools 6,198 

Total in schools heard from . . . 9,562 

The value of property owned by these schools is as follows : 

Alabama $ 39,5(X) 

Louisiana 45,(ino 

Missouri 15,0()0 

Georgia 10,000 

M ississlppi 77,000 

Ohio 5,000 

Arkansas 70,0(X) 

Maryland 6,000 

Kentucky 65,000 

Florida 20,000 

Tennessee 33,000 

Texas 80,000 

Nort h Carolina 16,000 

South Carolina 19,000 

Virginia 60.000 

Indian Territory 3,700 

Total $ 564,200 

The total income of the schools for 1902 was : 

Arkansas « 35,000.00 

Alabama 10,5(».00 

North Carolina 2,700.00 

Louisiana 15,(!0().00 

Mississippi 9,1()(» 00 

Tennessee 4,300.00 

Florida 1(>,0()0.00 

Georgia 12,(H)0 00 

Maryland .585 00 

Virginia ; 25,000.00 

Texas 23,00i) 00 

Ohio 3,500 00 

Kentucky 20,000 00 

Missouri 8,041 .02 

District of Columbia 400.00 

Pennsylvania 857.75 

Miscellaneous sources 238. 00 

Total S 186,221 .97 

The total number of pupils in all these schools is not given. Twenty 
of them report 148 teachers and 3,364 pupils. Probali>ly there are at least 
6,0U0 or 7,000 pupils in all the schools. The institutions are for tlie most 
part primary and secondary schools, despite their pretentious names, 
and supplement the public schools. 

Beside, these Negro Baptists have contributed largely to the Baptist 
schools of higher denomination, supported by the Northern white Bap- 
tists, for Negro students. The chief schools of this class are : 


Baptist Schools (Report of the United States Commissioner of Education, 1900=1) 


Richinond, Va 

Ru-hiiiond, Va 

Raleigh, N. O 

Wlnton, N. C 

Columbia, S. C 

Athens, Ga 

Atlanta, Ga 

Augusta, Ga 

Jackson, Miss 

Marshall, Tex 

Nashville, Tenn 

Little Rock, Ark 

Atlanta, Ga 

Harper's Ferry, W. Va 

HamiJton, Va 

Windsor, N. O 

IjaGraiige, Ga 

New Orleans, La 


Hartshorn Memorial College 
Virginia Union University. . . 

Shaw University 

Water's Normal Institute 

Benedict College 

Jeruel Academv 

Atlanta Baptist' College 

Walker Baptist Institute .... 

•Jackson College 

Bishop College 

Roger Williams University . 

Arkansas Baptist College 

Spelman Seminary 

Storer (.'ollege 

Splller Academy 

Bertie Academy 

LaGrange Baptist Academy. 
Leland University 
















































J .5(),o(:h> 









In the words of the late General Morgan, secretary of the American 
Baptist Home Missionary Society, this society "has already spent more 
than li>3,000,000 in their (i. e., the Negroes') behalf; the value of school 
property used for their benefit is not less than $1,000,000; its expenditure 
in their interest at present exceeds $100,000 a year. It has aided in the 
erection of a good number of meeting-houses." 

The other departments of the church are of less relative importance. 
The Baptist Young People's Union Board spent $7,000 for its work; the 
National Board spent .$8,302.29 for missions, with the following results : 

SiEi!H.\ Leone, West Coast Africa — Churches, 2; pastors and workers, 3; mem- 
bers, 4U. 

LiKEUiA, West Coast Africa — Churches, 52; pastors and workers, 86; members, 

Lagos, Southwest Coast Africa — Churches, 21 ; pastors and w'orkers, 56; mem- 
bers, 2,000. 

Cape Colony, South Africa — Churches, 2,S; pastors and workers, 80; members, 

Chiradzulu Blantyre, East Coast Africa — Churches, 3; pastors and workers, 
5; members, 35. 

Georgetown Demerara, British Guiana, South America — Churches, 3; pastors 
and workers, 11; members, 310. 

Lagwan, East Coast, British Guiana, South America— Churches, 1; pastors and 
workers, 2; members, 10. 

Surinam, Dutch Guiana, South America — Churches, 1 ; pastors and workers, 3; 
members, 30. 

Barhadoes, British West Indies, Bridgetown — Churches, 1 ; pastors and work- 
ers, 5; members, 62. 

There are churches at St. George, St. John, Christ Church and St. Thomas, on the 
island, with pastors and workers, 7, and members, 42. 



There is a Convention organized separately from the regular organi- 
zation. It had in 1902 : 

State Conventions 22 

Mission Societies 4,033 

Children's Bands 1,380 

Sewing Circles 420 

Circles of King's Daughters 120 

Money raised during 1902 $ 8,800 

There are the following newspapers j^ublished by Negro Baptists in 
the interest of that denomination : 


American Baptist 

Ba]Jtist Ijeader 

Baptist Magazine 

The Pilot 

The Sentinel 

(ihristian Banner 

Baptist Herald 

Florida Evangelist 

(ieorgia Baptist 

Western Messenger 

National Baptist Union 

Virginia Baptist 

Baptist Vanguard 

The Western Star 

The Baptist Truth 

The Baptist Truth 

Tlie CUiristian Organizer 

The South Carolina Standard 

Southern Watchman 

The Herald 

Pcoph^'s Recorder 

The Infonner 

Tlie .M.'ssi-nger 

Tlie American Tribune 

Negro World 

Guadaloupe College Recorder 

Advanced Quarterly (National Baptist Convention) . . 
Intermediate Quarterly (National Baptist Convention) 

Primary Quarterly (National Baptist Convention) 

The Teacher 

Child's Gems 

Easy Lesson Primer 

Preacher's Safeguard 

Zion Church Bulletin 

The Journal 

The Clarion 

The Blue (4rass Bugle 

The Moderator 

The Mission Herald 

The Trumpet 

The Watchman 

The Pennsvlvania Baptist 

The Florida Baptist 

Where Published. 

Jjouisville, Ky. 
Selma, Ala. 
Washington, D. C. 
Winston, N. C. 
Raleigh, N. C. 
Philadelphia, Pa. 
Live Oak, Fla. 
Jacksonville, Fla. 
Augusta, Ga. 
]SIacon, Mo. 
Nashville, Tenn. 
Richmond, Va. 
Little Rock, Ark. 
Houston, Tex. 
Savannah, Ga. 
Cairo, HI. 
Lynchburg, Va. 
Columbia, S. C. 
Mobile, Ala. 
Austin, Tex. 
(Jolumljia, S. C. 
Urbana, O. 
New Orleans, La. 
New Orleans, La. 
Cary, Miss. 
Nashville, Tenn. 

Denver, Col. 

Nashville, Tenn. 
Frankfort, Ky. 
Louisville, Ky. 
Ivouisvllle, Ky. 
Washington, D. O. 
Columbia, S. C. 
Pittsburg, Pa. 
Fernandina, Fla. 


As to the f?eneral character of the churches and preachers the follow- 
ing statement, made by the Home Missionary Society about five years 
at>o, seems a fair presentation : 

In the few lar^e cities and towns of the 8outh a minister usually serves one 
church; in the rural districts and small villages, where three-fourths of the Negro 
population are found, he has from two to four churches, and preaching "once't a 
month" is customary. Of the 12,000 churches in 1895, probably not 1,000 have 
preaching every Sunday. Except in the larger and more progressive churches 
ministers do very little pastoral work. 

About fifteen ministers receive $1,500 or more; one per cent, about $1,000 each; 
fifleen per cent, from .15500 to $700. The great majority get only $200 to $400; while 
many never see $100 in money yearly. These eke out their scanty salaries by man- 
ual labor. The people, generally, are very poor. 

Many are noble, high-minded, upright. God-fearing, unselfish, sincere, self-sacri- 
ficing, who honor their high calling. Of a great number, however, it must be said 
in sorrow, that their moral standards are not at all in accord with those of the 
New Testament for the ministry. They have grown up in an environment unfav- 
orable to the production of a high type of character. The development of a Chris- 
tian conscience is a fundamental need. In some states and localities it is more 
difficult than formerly for unworthy men to be ordained. 

Forty years ago, the minister who could read was the exception ; now, the excep- 
tion is one who cannot. Many, however, were too old to learn easily and made 
egregious blunders and understood what they read most imperfectly. Little could 
they learn in the very Inferior country schools, maintained for only three or four 
months each year. Their knowledge was "picked up." There are sixty per cent, 
of the ministers whose libraries do not average a dozen volumes. Many, however, 
take a cheap religious paper. Yet among these are preachers of much native 

Aboiat 25 per cent, have had approximately a fair common school education. 
Some spent a year or more at an academy or other higher school, where they also 
had a little instruction in the Bible and in preaching. A few got a start that led 
to intellectual and spiritual growth and power. 

Possibly 20 per cent, have had something like an ordinary academic course. 
Full college graduates are rare; not 100 Negro Baptist ministers have had a full 
collegiate and theological course. 

There are able preachers, whose sermons comijare favorably with the average 
sermons of white preachers, in substance, diction and delivery. Most of these are 
the products of our Home Mission schools. They are an uplifting influence to 
their churches, and to their less favored brethren in the ministry. 

But it may be safely said that two-thirds of the preaching is of the crudest 
character, emotional, hortatory, imaginative, visionary, abounding iri misconcep- 
tions of scripture, the close of the sermon being delivered with powerful intona- 
tions and gesticulations to arouse the audience to a high pitch of excitement, 
which both preacher and people regard as indispensable to a "good meeting." 
Two members of a minister.s' class recently made these statements to their colored 
instructor: one had preached that Joshua never had father or mother, because 
he was "the son of Nun," (none); the other wrought up his congregation mightily 
by repeatedly shouting: "Mesopotamia." Such instances can be multiplied indefi- 


The religious phenomenon of tliis land, if not of this age, is in the fact that while 
our Negro population increased slightly more than twofold in forty years, the 
Baptist increase among them was over fourfold. Negro preachers are remarkable 
evangelists in their way. Converts with weird and rapturous experiences are 
quickly baptized. With the survival of old-time notions concerning conversion, 
probably two-thirds of the churches are made up largely of "wood, hay and stub- 
ble." Nevertheless, in these are sincere, devout souls, in whom the Spirit of God 
seems to have wrought a genuine work and to whom he has given singularly clear 
views of truth. The process of emancipation from the old order of things is going 
on, largely under the leadership of men from our schools. Numerous churches 
maintain most orderly services, have good Sunday-schools, and young people's 
societies, and are interested in missions. Thousands of church edifices, some well 
equipped and very costly, bear witness to the zeal and devotion of the people, and 
to the persuasive power of their religious leaders. 

23. The African Methodists. The greatest voluntary organization of 
Negroes in the world is probably the African Methodist Church. Its 
beginning had a tinge of romance, and this is the story :* 

Between 1790 and 1800 the Negro population of Philadelphia County increased 
from 2,489 to 6,880, or 176 per cent., against an increase of 43 per cent, among the 
whites. The first result of this contact with city life was to stimulate the talented 
and aspiring freedmen ; and this was the easier because the freedman had in Phila- 
delphia at that time a secure economic foothold; he performed all kinds of do- 
mestic service, all common labor and much of the skilled labor. The group being 
thus secure in its daily bread needed only leadership to make some advance in 
general culture and social effectiveness. Some sporadic cases of talent occur, as 
Derham, the Negro physician, whom Dr. Benjamin Rush, in 1788, found "very 
learned." Especially, however, to be noted are Richard Allen, a former slave of 
the Chew family, and Absalom .Tones, a Delaware Negro. These two were real 
leaders and aC'ually succeeded to a remarkable degree in organizing the freedmen 
for group action. Both had bought their own freedom and that of their families 
by hiring their time — Allen being a blacksmith by trade, and Jones also having a 
trade. When, in 1792, the terrible epidemic drove Philadelphians away so quickly 
that many did not remain to bury the dead, Jones and Allen quietly took the work 
in hand, spending some of their own funds, and doing so well that they were pub- 
licly commended by Mayor Clarkson in 1794. 

The great work of these men, however, lay among their own race and arose 
from religious difficulties. As in other colonies, the process by which the Negro 
slaves learned the English tongue and were converted to Christianity is not clear. 
The subject of the moral instruction of the slaves had early troubled Penn, and he 
urged Friends to provide meetings for tliem. The newly organized Methodists 
soon attracted a number of the more intelligent, though the masses seem at the end 
of the last century not to have been church-goers or Christians to any considerable 
extent. The smaller number that went to church were wont to worship at St. 
George's, Fourth and Vine. For years both free Negroes and slaves worshipped 
here, and were made welcome. Soon, however, the church began to be alarmed at 

"Taken in v>art from "The Philadelphia Negro." 


the increase in its black communicants which the immigration from the coxintry 
was bringing, and attempted to force them into the gallery. The crisis came one 
Sunday morning during prayer, when Jones and Allen, with a crowd of followers, 
refused to worship except in their accustomed places, and finally left the church 
in a body. 

Allen himself tells of the incident as follows: 

"A number of us usually sat on seats placed around the wall, and on Sabbath 
morning we went to church and the sexton stood at the door and told us to go to 
the gallery. He told us to go and we would see where to sit. We expected to take 
the seats over the ones we formerly occupied below not knowing any better. We 
took these seats; meeting had begun and they were nearly done singing, and just 
as we got to the seats, the elder said : 'Let us pray.' We had not been long upon 
our knees before I heard considerable scuffling and loud talking. I raised my 
head and saw one of the trustees — H. M. — having hold of Absalom Jones, pulling 
him up off his knees and saying, 'You must get up, you must not kneel here.' Mr. 
Jones replied, 'Wait until prayer is over and I will get up and trouble you no more.' 
With that he beckoned to one of the other trustees— Mr. L. S.— to come to his 
assistance. He came and went to William White to pull him up. By this time 
the prayer was over and we all went out of the church in a body, and they were no 
more plagued by us in the church. This raised a great excitement and inquiry 
among the citizens, insomuch that I believe they were ashamed of their conduct. 
But my dear Lord was with us, and we were filled with fresh vigor to get a house 
erected to worship God in." 

This band immediately met together and on April r2, 1787, formed a curious sort 
of ethical and beneficial brotherhood called the Free African Society. How great 
a step this was, we of to-day scarcely realize. We must remind ourselves that it 
was the first wavering step of a people toward organized social life. This society 
was more than a mere club: Jones and Allen were its leaders and recognized chief 
officers; a certain parental discipline was exercised over its members and mutual 
financial aid given. The preamble of the articles of association says : 

"Whereas, Absalom Jones and Richard Allen, two men of the African race, who 
for their religious life and conversation, have obtained a good report among men, 
these persons, from a love to the people of their own complexion whom they beheld 
with sorrow, because of their irreligious and uncivilized state, often communed 
together upon this painful and important subject in order to form some kind of 
religious body; but there being too few to be found under the like concern, and 
those who were, differed in their religious sentiments; with these circumstances 
they labored for some time, till it was proposed after a serious communication of 
sentiments that a socie'.y should be formed without regard to religious tenets, pro- 
vided the persons lived an orderly and sober life, in order to support one another 
in sickness, and for the benefit of their widows and fatherless children." 

The society met first at private houses, then at the Friends' Negro school-house. 
For a time they leaned toward Quakerism ; each month three monitors were ap- 
pointed to have oversight over the members ; loose marriage customs were attacked 
by condemning cohabitation, expelling offenders, and providing a simple Quaker- 
like marriage ceremony. A fifteen-minute pause for silent prayer opened the 
meetings. As the representative body of the free Negroes of the city, this society 
opened communication with free Negroes in Boston, Newport, and other places. 


The Negro Union of Newport, R. I., proposed, in 1788, a general exodus to Africa, 
but the Free African Society soberly replied: "With regard to the emigration to 
Africa you mention, we have at present but little to communicate on that head, 
apprehending every pious man a good citizen of the whole world." The society 
co-operated with the Abolition Society in studying the condition of the free blacks 
in 1790. At all times they seem to have taken good care of their sick and dead, 
and helped the widows and orphans to some extent. Their methods of relief were 
simple: they agreed "for the benefit of each other to advance one shilling in sil- 
ver, Pennsylvania currency, a month; and after one year's subscription, from the 
dole thereof then to hand forth to the needy of the society, if any should require, 
the sum of three shillings and nine pence per week of the said money; provided 
the necessity is not brought on by their own imprudence." In 1790 the society had 
£42 9s. Id. on deposit in the bank of North America, and had applied for a grant of 
the potter's field, to be set aside as a burial ground for them, in a petition signed 
by Dr., Tench Coxe,and others. 

It was, however, becoming clearer to the leaders that only a strong religious 
bond could keep this untrained group together. They would probably have 
become a sort of institutional church at first if the question of religious denomi- 
nation had been settled among them ; but it had not been, and for about six years 
the question was still pending. The tentative experiment in Quakerism had 
failed, being ill-suited to the low condition of the rank and file of the society. Both 
Jones and Allen believed that Methodism was best suited to the needs of the 
Negro, but the majority of the society, still nursing the memory of St. George's, 
inclined toward the Episcopal church. Here came the parting of the ways : .Tones 
was a slow introspective inan, with a thirst for knowledge, with high aspirations 
for his people; Allen was a shrewd, quick, popular leader, positive and dogged, 
and yet far-seeing in his knowledge of Negro character. Jones, therefore, 
acquiesced in the judgment of the majority, served and led them conscientiously 
and worthily, and eventually became the first Negro rector in the Episcopal 
church in America. About 1790 Allen and a few followers withdrew from the 
Free African Society, formed an independent Methodist Church, which first wor- 
shipped in his blacksmith's shop on Sixth street, near Lombard. Eventually this 
leader became the founder and first bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal 
Church of America. 

Full figures as to the growth of this institution are not available, but 
there are enough to show its striking advance in a century from a dozen 
or more to three-quarters of a million members : 



; «f 3^Qc''^^lt^O!^^-f ig 

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In 1818 a publishing department was added to the work of the church, but its 
efficiency was impaired on account of the great mass of its members being in slave 
states or the District of Columbia, where the laws prohibited them from attend- 
ing school, and deprived them of reading books or papers. In 1817 Rev. Ricliard 
Allen published a book of discipline; and shortly after this a church hymn-book 
was published also. Beyond this there was little done in this department until 
1841, when the New York Conference passed a resolution providing for the publica- 
tion of a monthly magazine. But the lack of funds compelled the projectors to is- 
sue it as a quarterly. For nearly eight years this magazine exerted an excellent 
influence upon the ministers with a strong interest. It contained the newsin each 
of the conferences; its editorials breathed a spirit of love and fellowship; and 
thus the members were brought to a knowledge of the work being accomplished. 
At length the prosperity of the magazine seemed to justify the publication of 
a weekly paper. Accordingly a weekly journal, named the "Christian Herald," 
made its appearance and ran its course for the space of four years. In 1852, by order 
of the General Conference, the paper was enlarged and issued as the "Christian 
Recorder", which has continued to be published up to the present time. 

The department now publishes the Recorder^ the African Methodist 
Episcopal Reeiew, and variou.s books. 

The financing of so large an organization is a matter of great interest. 
In the quadrenniuni, 1896-1900, there was raised for the purposes of the 
general church organization on the average: 

Each year 8 236,194.79 

Each month 19,082 89 

Each day 656.09 

Each minute .45 

The bishops receive .$2,000 a year; the general officers, $1,200. In 1826 
the pastors averaged $50 and $60 a year in .salary, and often had other 
work for a livelihood. In 1900 the average salary of presiding elders 
was $663.72; of preachers $204.18. There is a system of pensions for the 
widowed and superannuated partially in force. The funds of the 
church are of two sorts: local monies, raised for the local churches, 
and "Dollar" money (i. e., one dollar per member), for the general 
churcl). The dollar money, which amounts to over $100,000 a year, is 
divided as follows : 

Forty-six per cent, to general financial department. 
Thirty-six percent, to the annual conferences. 
Ten per cent, to church extension. 
Eight per cent, to education. 


Tlie total ainount raised by the church in the four years, 1896-1900, was : 

DoHar money $ 403,401.62 

Ohurch extension 04,474 (X) 

Publishing Department 71,:513.83 

Ediu-atlon 270,1188.54 

Sunday-school Union 77,159.40 

Preacher's aid 2,005.25 

Missions 64,8;>6 39 

Total 3 954,779.09 

Salaries of presiding elders $ 139,735.37 

Salaries of ministers 735,790.21 

Traveling expenses 29,594.00 

Salaries of bishops 18,(XH).0O 

Salaries of general ofHeers 12,300.00 

Total • $ 935,425.58 

Total raised in (luadrennluin, 1890-lSHX) $ 1,777,918.20 

Total raised in quadrennlum, 1892-1890 1,5;^, II 1.01 

Total raised in quadrennlum, 188&-1892 1,(M>4,509.50 

Turnin<!,- to the various departments, we have first the Publishing 
Department. The Review is an octavo publication of about 100 pages, 
and is now in its twentieth year. It lias a circulation of i^erliaps 1,000 
copies. The contents of the New Year's number, 1903, were: 

Tlie Missioyi of tlie African Methodist Episcopal Church to the Darker Races of the 
World— By C. J. Powell. 

Publications and Literature of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. — John E. 

The Flight of Ilagar.—.] . A. Atiams. 

The South Mountain Reservation. — Ralph Elwood Brock. 

The Leadership of the Church and the Opportunity of the Ministry. — George W. Hen- 

The Opportunity of the Colored Young Mens Christian Association in the Work of 
Education.— F. 1). Wheeloek. 

The Preacher at Hill Station. — Katherine D. Tillman. 

St. Cecilia. 

A Xew Year — Looking Before and After. — H. T. Kealing. 

Jo.ieph Parker's Prophecy. 

Women — Life's Mirror; Character in Eyes; Foes to Embonpoint; Tennyson's 

Sociological. — Loves the Game; Alone in Paris; Indian Territory. 

Religiou.-i. — Some Questions and Answers. 

Miscellaneous. — Christmas; Christmas in the Orient; Who is Santa Claus? Keep 
Old Santa Ciaus; Winter; Music and Old Age ; T. Thomas Fortune; The Strength 
of New England; Things to take to Church. 

Editorial— 'V\\Q Review for 1903; President Roosevelt; Thomas B. Reed; Dr. 
Joseph Parker; You Count for One; The Stars for Us; The Good Old Times Worse 
than Our Times. 

*Some of the items in this t!iV>le are paid wholly or in part from the dollar money above. 



The Recorder is a weekly, eight-page paper, and is the oldest Negro 
periodical in the United States. It is taken up largely with church 
announcements and reports. 

The Philadelphia house received $65,687.98 in the four years, 1896- 
1900. It is not self-supporting at present, although it has been at 
various periods in the past. The outfit, including building and land, 
is valued at $45,500, on which there is a debt of $15,000. The branch 
establishment in Atlanta publishes the Southern Christian Recorder, a 
small weekly, at an annual cost of about $1,400. 

In Nashville there is located the Sunday-school Union, a publishing 
house for Sunday-school literature. It has valuable real estate and 
had an income of $77,159.46 during the quadrennium, or a little less 
than $20,000 a year. 

The mission work at home and abroad has been vigorously pushed in 
recent years, and in the thirty-six years from 1864 to 1900 this church 
has spent $2,102,150.75 in mission work. It has to-day in Africa 180 
missions and over 12,000 members, beside missions in Canada and the 
West Indies. Over $60,000 was raised for missions in tlie last four 

There is some indebtedness on the general church property. The 
total value of churches and parsonages was $9,309,937 in 1900, on which 
there was a debt of $1,068,995. 

The African Methodist Episcopal Church began in 1844 to start 
schools for Negroes. A committee was appointed and founded Union 
Seminary. Later this institution was united with Wilberforce Univer- 
sity, which was bought by the church from the white Methodist 
Church. Thus Wilberforce, dating from 1856, is the oldest Negro insti- 
tution in the land. The church has now about twenty-five schools in 
all. They are supported from three sources: 1. Tuition, etc., paid by 
students; 2. Donations and bequests; 3. Appropriations from the 
general fund of the church. From these sources about $275,000 was 
raised in the four years, 1896-1900; and since 1884, when the general 
educational def)artment was organized, there has been raised $1,250,000 
for education. The figures are : 


. S 635,(X)0.00 
. 1,140,013.31 

Average attendance, four years . 
Acres of land 


Value of property 

Raised and appropriated 189<5-1<.KK) 
Raised and appropriated 1884-11)00 



The schools are 

African Methodist Episcopal Schools 


Payne Theologic-al Seinlnnry, Wilberforce, O 
Wilberforce University, Willjerforce, Oiilo. . . 

Morris Brown College, Atliinta, Ga 

Kittrel College, Kittrel, N. C 

Paul Quinn College, Waco, Tex 

AUen.University, Columl>la, S. C 

AVestern University, Quindan, Kan 

Edward Waters (iollege, Jaclcsonville, Fla. . . . 
Shorter University, Nortli Little Roeli, Arli . . 

Payne University, Selnia, Ala 

Campbell-Stringer College, Jackson, Mo 

Way man Institute, Harr()(lst)urg, Ky 

Turner Normal Institute, Sliellivvilie, Tenn.. 

Flagler High School, Marion, S "C 

Delhi Institute, Delhi, La 

Sission's High School, South McAlister, IT 
Blue Creek and Muscogee High School. I. T. . . 

Morsell institute, Haytl 

Bermuda Institute, Bermuda 

Zion Institute, Sierra Leone, Africa 

Eliza Turner Scliool, Monrovia, Africa 

Cape Town Institute, Cape Town, Africa 










$ i;i,ooo 









; 1.5,300. -18 


3,5,2 IS (■.!» 

31,;?72 -if) 

28,5 , 50 

Ul,3r5 05 

15,037 53 

12,K73 S5 


5,0Sl (K) 

4,272 85 


2,0: ;!i; 



111 1901 there were 175 teachers, 0,725 students and 6,696 "-raduates 
from forty-one scliools, valued at $865,574. 

The church extension work received .$64,474: durinti' the quadreniiiuni, 
and there was $1,742 25 paid to preachers' widows. The total ministerial 
insurance in forcn amounted to $80,000. 

The African Methodist Episcopal CInircli, however, is cliiefly note- 
wortliy on account of its Board of Bishops. A board of thirteen men 
more or less wield the power directly over 750,000 American Nejiroes, 
and indirectly over two or more millions, administer $10,000,000 worth 
of property and an annual budget of S500,000. These bisho23s are elected 
ft)r life by a General Conference meetint^- every four years. The mem- 
bership of the General Conference consists of ministerial and lay dele- 
gates: the clerical delegates are elected from the Annual Conferences, 
one for every thirty ministers. Two lay delegates for each Annual Con- 
ference are selected ])y the representatives of the official church boards 
in the Conference. Tluis we have a ])ecnliar case of Negi'o government, 
with elaborate machinery and the experience of a luindred years. How 
has it succeeded ? Its financial and numerical success has been remark- 
able as has been shown. Moreover, the l)ishops elected form a remarka- 
ble series of personalities. Together the assembled bishops are per- 
haps the most striking body of Negroes in the world in personal 
appearance: men of massive physique, clear cut faces and undoubted 
intelligence. Altogether the church has elected about thirty bishops. 


These men fall into about five classes. First, tliere wei-e those who 
represented the old type of Negro preacher — men of little learnint"-, 
honest and of fair character, capable of following other leaders. Per- 
haps five or six of the African Methodist Episcopal bishops have been 
of this type, but they have nearly all passed away. From them de- 
veloped, on the one hand, four men of aggressive, almost riotous 
energy, who by their personality thrust tlie church forward. While 
sucli men did mucli for tlie physical growth of the church they were 
often men of questionable cliaracter, and in one or two instances ought 
never to have been raised to the bishopric. On the other hand, in the 
case of four other bishops, the goodness of tlie older class developed 
toward intense, almost ascetic piety, represented pre-eminently in the 
late Daniel Payne, a man of almost fanatic enthusiasm, of simple and 
pure life and unstained reputation, and of great intellectual ability. 
The African Methodist Episeoi^al Church owes more to him than to any 
single man, and the class of bishops lie represents is the salt of the 
organization. Such a business plant naturally lias called to the front 
many men of business ability, and perhaps five bishops may be classed 
as financiers and overseers. The rest of the men who have sat on the 
bench rose for various reasons as popular leaders — by powerful preach- 
ing, by pleasing manners, by iinpressive personal appearance. They 
have usually been men of ordinary attainment, with characters neither 
better nor worse than the middle classes of their race. Once in office 
they have usually grown in efficiency and character. On the whole, 
then, this experiment in Negro government has been distinctly encour- 
aging. It has brought forward men varying in character, some good 
and some bad, l3ut on tlie whole decency and ability have been decidedly 
in the ascendency, and tlie church has prospered. 

25. The Zion Methodists. The history of the African Methodist 
Episcopal Zion C-hurch has already been given.* From the 1,500 mem- 
bers of 1821 it has grown until it claimed, in 1904, 551.591 adherents. 
Some facts about the church, as given at the twenty-first quadrennial 
session, are : 

"In May, 1896, the ordained ministry of the church numbered 2,473; this has in- 
creased in four years to 2,902, an addition of 429. The number of church edifices, 
which were .3,612, has increased to 4,841, an addition of 229. The membership of 
409,441 has swollen to 528,461, an increase of 119,020. These, with an approximate 
transient membership of 12,000, and denominational adherents of 125,000, will give 
the church a following of nearly 668,000. The increase has been well proportioned 
in each department of the church. The average increase per year for the ministry 
is 107; of increase in church buildings. 57, and members, 29,755. 

"The valuation of church property, including real estate of every description, 
church, parsonages, schools, general departments, and other buildings, is estimated 
at $4,865,372, on which rests a total indebtedness of only $758,400. The rate of 

*P. 45. 



reduction of property indebtedness slightly exceeds its increase, the financial 
wave of 1899 contributing largely to this pleasing result. The African Methodist 
Episcopal Zion is the least debt-encumbered of any of the large Negro denomina- 
tions. The growth in material interests has been rapid, while the denominational 
indebtedness has fallen thirty per cent. A number of magnificent churches have 
been erected, completed, or extensively rebuilt or remodeled. 

"The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church ranks fourth in the family of 
Methodism; second in Negro Methodism, and thirteenth in denominational 
standing in the United States. Beginning in 1896 without a single denominational 
Christian Endeavor Society, we have to-day more than 600, with a membership of 
about 30,000. We are happy to say our number of societies and members is con- 
stantly increasing. 

"Current expenses were per annum, $153,700; for the quadrennium, $614,800; on 
church debt and building new churches, per annum, $940,5)99 ; for the quadrennium, 
$3,763,996. This, with the general fund, missionary and other revenue to the 
church, will aggregate for the four years $11,449,800." 

The amounts of money for general purposes raised by this connection 
during four years is as follows, made up of the following items: 

Bishops $ 64,378.78 

Livingstone College 11,421.53 

General Secretary 1,516.09 

General Steward 1,162.11 

Star of Zion 2,462.65 

Book Concern 1,770.62 

Quarterly Review 881.10 

Sunday-school Department .... 1,077.91 

Expenses General Secretary .... 1,2;%. 55 

Expenses General Steward 1,148.34 

Mrs. J. C. Price 1,669.16 

Bishop Jones' estate 417.19 

Bishop Moore's estate 1,175.02 

Bishop Thompson's estate 1,169.03 

Funeral expenses 75.00 

Superannuated ministers 1,746.99 

Total 8 93,292 07 

The following sums were raised for education: 
School and College Statistics 

(Several of the schools had not reported when this report was read.) 


No. of 

No. of 

Amount Collected 
per Quadrennium. 

Value of Plant. 

Livingstone College 

Clinton Institute 



$57,198 05 


5,a« ()0 



.3(X) 00 

1,. 500 00 



$ 117,950 

Lancaster Institute 

Greenville College 

Hannon and Lonuvx 

Walters Institute . . 


Mobile Institute 


Money raised by Secre- 





$ 134,950 


There were the following additional schools: 

Atkinson College, Madisonville, Ky. 

Palmetto Institute, Union. S. C. 

Edenton Industrial High School, Edenton, N. C. 

Lloyd Academy, Elizabethtown, N. C. 

Hemphill High School, Crockett, Ga. 

Pettey Academy, Newburn, N. C. 

Lomax and Rutler Academy, Tampa, Fla. 

Carr Academy, North Carolina. 

Lee Institute, Amite City, La. 

Pettey Institute, Calvert, Tex. 

African Methodist Episcopal Zion High School, Norfolk, Va. 

The publishing house had an income of $30,949 in the last four 
years, and publishes the Star of Zion, a weekly paper, the African 
Methodist Ejnscojial Zion Review, a quarterly, and other literature. 
The church extension department raised but $1,400, and $2,103 was spent 
for missions. 

26. The Colored Methodists. The Colored Methodist Episcopal 
Church* started with 80,000 members and two bishops in 1866, and has 
grown as follows: 





Itinerant preachers 











The church collected $145,707 during the four years, 1898-1902. The 
bishops receive $2,000 a year, and tiie church supports the following 
educational institutions: 

TV-amp Erpenditures, 

'^"^"*^- Four Years. 

Lane College « 11,718 

Payne Institute + 7,466 

Haygood Seminary 1,794 

Homer Seminary 1,927 

Texas College 3,157 

The Publishing Department expended $12,960 in the quadrennium, 
and has a plant worth $20,000. This church is often put on the defen- 
sive by reason of its origin, but it accepts the challenge boldly: 

"The Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, organized in 1870, is, as you well 
know, the daughter of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. We are not 
ashamed of our origin; nor do we regret the relation which we sustain to that 
church. We are not forgetful of the fact that the Christianity and Methodism 
which our fathers enjoyed were largely due to the zeal and labors of Southern 
Methodist pioneers. The first labors of Bishop John Early were among the slaves 
of Thomas Jeflferson, in Bedford County, Va. Bishop Capers deserves to be called 
the 'Founder of Missions to the Slaves'; James 0. Andrew, ninth bishop of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, whose history is pretty well known to these two 

* Cf. page 47. t 'i be Methodist Church, South, helps support this school. 



great bodies of Methodism, fretiuenlly rose to superhuman heights of eloquence 
when pleading for the religious training of the enslaved Negro. Since emancipa- 
tion no Southerner has done more to ameliorate the condition of the freedman 
than the author of 'Our Brother in Black.' Bishop Haygood, by his unselfish labors, 
reflected himself upon the current of the ages as the mountain mirrors itself in 
the gentle stream which flows at its base. These men, and many others whom I 
could mention, will ever live upon the tablets of our memory."* 

27. The Methodists. All of the above represent branches of Meth- 
odism and ayree in doctrine and discipline saA^e in a few minor points. 
There was in earlier times talk of some of them rejoining- tlie parent 
body; later there have been negotiations looking to the tinion of the 
African Methodists and Zionists, and negotiations are pending for a 
union of tlie Colored Methodists and Zionists. Tlie cliances are tliat 
some union will eventually take place, but how soon it is difficult to 
say. Meantime large numbers of Negroes have remained in the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church, and this colored membership increases. In 
1902 we have the following figures : 

Methodist Episcopal Church — Negro Membership 




Monies Raised. 

Central Missouri 



1-4, 17S 





5, Hit 

S9, 1'.K) 
]:{,() l!i 

$ 200,C)0() 




85,1 IS 


;-!() 1,775 








111".. 170 









Liberia .... 


Little Rock 












East Tennessee 



1 1 ,829 

North Carolina 








West Texas 





$ 717,400 

It is of interest to know how much this element contributes to the 
church. (1) From 1900 to 1903, inclusive, the society appropriated to 
colored schools $449,119. (2) The colored membersliip of the church 
gave of this amount $227,821.58, and beside this they gave as a special 
contribution towards buildings and debts .$55,601.69. Add to tliis amount 
their other contribution for Sttident Help for the same period of 

•:• Bishop I^hillips, in Fraternal Address to the African Methodist Episcopal Church. 



$12,599.40 and you have a o-rand total of $292,522.62 contributed by the 
coloied people in this church towards their education for four years. 
It must be remembered, however, that the Student Help money passes 
through the Board of Education, (o) We raised for missions durinp; 
the same period .$8:5,131.23. The Cliui-ch Extension Board spent .$591,132 
in aidinji: colored churches, 1864-1901, and has collected $81,514 from 
these churches. The Freedman's Aid Society has spent over $7,000,000 
in Netzro education. It maintains the follow! ii": schools: 


1^ IJ 


Gammon Theological Seminary, Atlanta, Ga. 


Bennett College, Greensboro, N. C 

Claflin Univer.sity, Orangeburg, S. C 

CUark Univer.sity, Atlanta, Ga 

George R. Smitli College, Sedalia, Mo 

Morgan College, Baltimore, Md 

New Orleans University, New Orleans, La. . . . 
Philander Smith College, Little Rock, Ark . . 

Rust University, Holly Springs, Miss 

Walden University, Nashville, Tenn 

Wiley University, Marshall, Tex 



Alexandria Academy, Alexandria, La 

Central Alabanux Academy, Huntsville, Ala 

C'ookman Academy, .Jacksonville, Fla 

Delawai'e Academy, Princess Anne, Md 

(Gilbert Academy, Baldwin, La 

Haven Academy, Waynesboro, Ga .". . . 

La Grange Academy, La Grange, Ga 

Meridian Academy, Meridian, Miss 

Morristown Academy, Morristown, Tenn 

Sam Houston College, Au.stin, Tex 

Virginia Collegiate and Industrial Inst., I^ynchburg, Va 



Meharry Medical School, Walden University • 

Flint Medical College, New Orleans, La 

Sarah (iontlridge Nurse-training School and Hospital, 
New C)rlenns, La 
























































Value of 

$ l(Hi,fKX) 














$ :38,000 

* Faculty included inWalden University. 

The history of the Negro in the Methodist Episcopal Church is, how- 
ever, of far-reaching interest in any study of the relation of the races. 
This is the one church with a centralized episcopal government which 
has a large Negro membership, and the efforts to adjust the races in 



this organization throw light on the problem in the whole country. 
This history may be graphically illustrated as follows: 

We have clearly discussed the secession of the African Methodist 
Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and the setting off 
of the Colored Metliodist Episcopal. Tliese churches, by their indi- 
vidual development, have settled the question of the ability of the 
Kegro in self-organization and self-direction of his religious life. But 
it was left to the Methodist Church to struggle with the more baffling 
problem of the relation of the races in one organization. Something 


has alreatly been said of the Methodists and slavery and the split of 
1844.* Even before that serious questions of coh)r had arisen outside 
the slavery problem. The General Conference of 1800 settled the first 
of these questions by enacting- that bishops could '■'ordain deacons of our 
African brethren in places where they have built a house or houses for 
the worship of God," the only limitation being the possibility of finding 
suitable men. The next question arose after the secession of 1844 had 
left many Negro congregations in the border states without their usual 
white pastors; they petitioned the General Conference of 1848 for col- 
ored ministers and colored Annual Conferences; the Conference de- 
clared "that the organization of such (separate) Conferences" was ''at 
present inexpedient," but it authorized the employment of itinerant 
colored ministers at the discretion of the bishops. No regular appoint- 
ment was usually made to these congregations, but they were left "to 
be supplied" by the colored itinerants In 1852, however, the General 
Conference directed "that the colored local preachers now employed 
within the bounds of the Philadelphia and New Jersey Annual Con- 
ferences be assembled together once each year ])y the bishop or bishops 
for thp purpose of conferring with the said colored local preachers with 
respect to the best means of promoting their work and also for the pur- 
pose of assigning their work respectively." This was virtually a 
Colored Annual Conference in all but name, and meant the dividing of 
identical territory with separate Conferences along the color line. 

Four years later the color question rose in a different guise. The 
church had been working in Africa, especially Liberia, and now the 
members there asked for a missionary bishop. The General Conference 
assented and ordained Francis Burns, a Negro, to the bishopric of 
Liberia, October 14,1856; in 1866 the Rev. John W. Roberts, another 
Negro, was ordained to this same bishopric. These were the first and, 
so far, the only Negro bishops in the Methodist Episcoj^al Church. The 
same Conference of 1856 recognized further the principle of colored 
Annual Conferences all over the land whenever "the holding of said 
Conference or Conferences shall be recommended l)y an Annual Con- 
ference, and the bishops upon due inquiry, shall deem it practicable 
and expedient." At tlie same time it was declared that, "Our colored 
preachers and official members shall have all the privileges which are 
usual to others in Quarterly Conferences, where the usages of the 
comity do not forbid it," otlierwise separate Quarterly Conferences 
could be held. The General Conference also secured Wilberforce Uni- 
versity as a seat of Negro education, but afterward sold it to the 
African Methodist Episcoi:)al Church in 1863 for a nominal sum. 

In 1860 the General Conference raised the colored Annual Conferences 
to full powers and that of 1864 urged the extension of the system to the 
South, and began to organize the great work of aiding the freedmen. 

- F. 21, ff. 


Negroes first sat as delegates in a General Conference in 1868 in Chicago. 
The church spread among the Negroes of the South, many preachers 
were ordained, and when the General Conference of 1872 met they were 
faced by a demand for a Negro bishop. The question was shelved by de- 
claring the eligibility of Negi'oes to the office but the absence of 
any obvious candidate. In 1876 the demand came again, but the 
General Conference escaped the dilemma by deciding to elect no new 
bishops. The committee on episcopacy at the Conference of 1880 after 
considerable deliberation recommended ''that tliis General Conference 
elect one bishop of African descent," but the Conference postponed 
the matter by a vote of 228 to 137. Since this time Negroes have been 
elected to seven general offices, * involving the superintendence of 
matters concerning the Negroes, and while a Negro candidate for 
bishop has received a large vote, no Negro has been elected. In all 
l)robability the matter will eventually be settled by electing one or 
more Negroes as suffragan bishops, with special charge of Negro Con- 
ferences and churches. 

This evolution has been of great interest and will be in the future as 
showing a peculiar process of adjustment between two groups of people 
in spite of strong centrifugal forces. May it not in a way prefigure the 
national struggle ? 

28. The Episcopalians. We now come to the churches where the 
Negro forms but a small percentage of the membership. Archdeacon 
Pollard gives the following facts concerning Negro Episcopalians in 

The field of the work among the colored people covers twenty-one Dioceses and 
three Missionary Districts — all in the Southern States — and ministering specifically 
to 20,000 persons, of whom 8,000 are communicants, worshipping in "200 churches 
and chapels, and in charge of more than 100 clergymen. The workers actually 
number 108 clergymen, 65 laymen and 145 women, or 318 persons in all. 

In the entire country to-day there are eighty-five colored clergymen engaged in 
the work of the church, about 15,000 communicants, and upwards of $50,000 placed 
annually as an offering upon the altar. As far as I have been able to trace with 
certainty, 146 colored men have been admitted to Holy Orders in this church, and 
two consecrated bishops. Tlie Rt. Rev. James Theodore Holly, D. D., the first 
bishop of Haiti, was born in Washington, D. C, and consecrated bishop in the year 
1874. The Rt. Rev. Samuel David Ferguson, D. D., D. C. L., the fourth missionary 
bishop of Cape Palmas and parts adjacent, West Africa, was born near Charleston, 
S. C, and consecrated in the year 1885. Forty-two (42) colored clergymen ordained 
in this church served their day and generation faithfully and then passed into the 
paradise of God. Seven (7) felt called to other lands and are now out of the coun- 

• These officers are: Rev. M. C. B. Mason, D. D., Corresponding Secretary Freedman's Aid 
Society; Rev. I. B. Scott. D. D., Editor SouihweMern C'lirUtiaii Advocate; Professor I. Garland 
Peun, "Assistant General Secretary Epworth League; Rev. G. G. Logan, D. D., Field Secretary 
Missionary Society; Rev. Robert E. Jones, D. D., and Rev. ('. C. Jacobs, D. D., Field Secretaries 
Sunday-school Union ; Mr. \V. F. Waters, Assistant Business Manager Soathu'estern Christian Ad- 
vocate. The last five of these men were elected by the General Boards, the other two by the 
General Conference : all are official. 


try, but still engaged in ministerial work, while twelve (12), for various causes, 
were deposed. Some of these last are to-day among the most active, learned and 
honorable men in the denominations around us. 

Although the Episcopal Church was the first American church to 
receive Nepro members, the growth of that membership has been 
small. This was the one great church that did not split on the slavery 
question, and the result is tliat its Negro membership before and since 
the war has been a delicate subject, and the church has probably done 
less for black people tlian any other aggregation of Christians. 

What colored churchmen think of their treatment is best shown in 
this extract from the Church Advocate, one of their organs : 

The Church Commission for Work among the Colored People at a late meeting 
decided to request the various rectors of parishes throughout the South to insti- 
tute Sunday-schools and special services for the colored population "such as were 
frequently found in the South before the war." The Commission hope for "real 
advance" among the colored people in so doing. We do not agree with the Com- 
mission with respect to either the wisdom or the etficiency of the plan suggested. 
In the first place, this "before the war" plan was a complete failure so far as church 
extension was concerned, in the past when white churchmen had complete bodily 
control of their slaves. W"e are going to quote from the Journals of Conventions 
of the Diocese of Virginia, since Virginia is a fair type of Southern States. 

The Journals of Virginia will verify the contention, that during the "before the 
war" period, while the bishops and a large number of the clergy were always inter- 
ested in the religious training of the slaves, yet as matter of fact there was general 
apathy and indifference upon the part of the laity with respect to this matter. 

At various intervals resolutions were presented in the Annual Conventions with 
the avowed purpose of stimulating an interest in the religious welfare of the 
slaves. But despite all these efforts the Journals fail to record any great achieve- 
ments along that line. 

In the Convention of 1840, a preamble recited the great and urgent need for such 
work, and after appealing to the final reckoning as an occasion of condemnation 
to the master class who have neglected the members of this "degraded race," cer- 
tain resolutions were presented and adopted : a committee of seven was appointed 
to consider and report upon the matter. This committee consisted of the two 
bishops, two clergymen and three laymen. Among other things they were to 
report to the Convention "the most efficient system of oral religious instruction, 
both public and private," and further, they were to give such information as 
would determine the "proper subjects of baptism, both infant and adult." 

In the Convention of 1841 the committee was continued. 

In the Convention of 1856 the committee reported as follows: 

"We commend the establishment of Sunday-schools in our bounds, by the 
masters and mistresses in our church for colored children, where the instruction 
would be exclusively oral and governed by the standards of our church : 

"In connection with these, and as perhaps more important and auxiliary, the 
catechetical instruction of young servants by their masters and mistresses of our 
church, in their families, is strongly recommended. And we further distinctly 
approve of the plan of making such domestic arrangements as will allow and 
encourage servants to attend upon the public services of the sanctuary, as well 
as at family prayers." 


Two years later, in 1858, the following action was taken : 

"Resolved, That a special committee be appointed to ascertain from the par- 
ishes, and to report to the next Convention whether any, and if any. what pro- 
vision is made for the instruction of the colored population of their limits." 

In the Convention of 1859 resolutions were adopted looking to the maintenance 
of "missionary services with the slaves," and for building houses of worship for 

In the Convention of 1800, which met at Charlottesville, a somewhat more elab- 
orate plan of operation was presented and adopted, which in brief may be de- 
scribed as follows: 1. Separate and distinct congregations. 2. Provision of 
suitable place of worship; trustees chosen by contributors and appointed by the 
court. 3. A certain number to be taken from the communicants, to assist the 
minister in the affairs of the congregation, with special reference to the admis- 
sion, supervision and discipline of church members. In the first place these were 
to be appointed by the minister. Vacancies to be filled by the communicants, 
subject to the approval of the minister. 4. The minister always to be a clergy- 
man of the Diocese, either a rector within the bounds, or a missionary appointed 
by the executive committee of the Diocesan Missionary Society, with the approval 
of the bishop. 

At this same Convention in I860 a committee was appointed to consider the 
importance of more generally procuring baptism for children of slaves of mem- 
bers of the church. 

So much for ante-bellum relations. So faithful had been the work under such 
conditions that as late as 1879 there were less than 200 colored communicants 
reported in the whole state of Virginia. The next ten years in Virginia, 1879- 
1889, constituted the most glorious period, so far as church extension is concerned, 
among colored people in the entire history of the Diocese. God richly blessed 
the efforts put forth so that the list of communicants was increased to nearly 
1,000, a native Negro ministry of some ten clergymen raised up. With this auspi- 
cious blessing of the Almighty, on the part of some of the white brethren came 
the "color" question, and the work has never since advanced as before. 

At the Convention of 1856, embracing the territory now included in the states 
of Virginia and West Virginia, there were reported, of colored people, forty-three 
adult baptisms, 244 infant baptisms, and forty -seven confirmed; the whole num- 
ber of communicants in this territory being only 235. And four years later, 1800, 
instead of an increase there was a decided decrease, the figures being as follows : 
Adult baptisms, 12; infants, 166; confirmed, 22; total number of communicants, 

Bishop Johns, in his Convention address of 1860, in his Journal notes in connec- 
tion with his attendance upon the General Convention which met in Richmond, 
Va., in 1859, says : 

"October 3-23d — During the session of the Convention I was privileged, in com- 
mon with several of the bishops and other clergy, to address the large and inter- 
esting congregations of colored people assembled in the Baptist and Methodist 
African Churches. We have no such congregations there or elsewhere in the 
Diocese, and for our delinquency in this I should find it hard to furnish a satisfac- 
tory excuse." 

What a significant statement ! The Episcopal Church, when its white members 
commanded even the bodies of their slaves, backed by all the prestige and influ- 
ence of the church in Virginia, failed to any degree to get hold of the colored 


In South Carolina the complete failure of ante-bellum instruction to result in 
definite church extension among the Negroes was even more disastrous. 

The Journal of the Convention of South Carolina for 1856 shows 424 white bap- 
tisms against 975 colored baptisms, and 210 white persons confirmed against 414 
colored persons confirmed. There were reported 2,971 white communicants, 
against 3,022 colored communicants. 

In spite of this faithful ante-bellum instruction, when the colored people became 
free they left the church. They preferred, as they do now, the ministrations of 
their own, in leadership as well. We might ask the question how well has Arch- 
deacon Joyner of South Carolina succeeded in bringing them back into the church 
in later days ? Let us answer by a few statistics. We take these statistics from 
olhcial sources, directly from the Journals of the Convention of South Carolina. 

In 1892 the total of colored communicants in that Diocese was 745. Ten years 
later, 1902, the total is 859. But of this 859, 356 belong to St. Mark's, Charleston, 
leaving a balance of 503 pertaining to the Archdeaconry of South Carolina. By this 
we fail to see any actual gain whatever. But taking the figures of 1903 we have in 
South Carolina 638 communicants exclusive of St. Mark's congregation. Hence, 
after deducting 237 communicants of St. Mark's from the total of 745 in 1892, we 
have as Archdeacon Joyner's portion then 508 communicants. Eleven yeai's later 
this 508 has become 638. 

The auditor who examined the accounts of the Archdeacon for 1892, certified 
of expenditures amounting to .$11,330.25, and for the year 1903 the auditor certifies 
of expenditures in the neighborhood of $20,000. For the eleven years we have an 
increase of 130 communicants. 

The method of special services for colored people, "colored Sunday-school," not 
only failed in ante-bellum days, but it has also failed in later years since the 
war. It is very far from us to contend that these efforts were in vain and without 
substantial good. Much good was the outcome of such efforts. They helped to 
mould and build solid characters. But they helped scarcely one iota in church 
extension or in making churchmen of colored people. The people got the instruc- 
tion and the material help, and went off to the Baptists or Methodists. 

Take an illustration of this same idea in the city of Baltimore. Twelve or fif- 
teen years ago there were large and enthusiastic "colored" Sunday-schools in 
connection with the following white parishes in Baltimore: St. Peter's Church 
of the Ascension, St. Michael's and All Angels, and Emanuel Church. At Tow- 
son there was both a parish and Sunday-school; also a similar condition obtained 
at Claggett Chapel, Anne Arundel County, and at West River 

And yet to-day there is no indication whatever that such Sunday-schools were 
ever in existence, save here and there a communicant in the two exclusively 
colored congregations of churchmen in this city. So far as doing good is con- 
cerned, a great deal of good was done by these several schools, for many of their 
foi-mer pupils have become reliable and reputable men and women. Christian 
workers in Baptist and Methodist Churches. But with respect to church exten- 
sion the idea has been a failure. Twenty years ago the late Rev. Dr. Dashiell, 
Secretary of the Virginia Council, said: 

"In consideration, therefore, of the church's duty to the Negro, we are not de- 
liberating concerning one who will be entirely quiescent. The colored people 
have the right to speak in the matter, and they will assert that right. . . . Again, 
I say, remember that they are human beings, and it is not in human nature to 
be content with subordination to those who do not thoroughly understand us, 
and, therefore, are not capable of complete sympathy with us." 


What the church should do. Meeting the issue fairly, honestly and frankly, the 
church should recognize the fact that whatever may be in the future, at present 
it is hopelessly impossible to bring together, under one bishop, the white and 
colored people in Diocesan Conventions in the South. That being a fact, without 
crimination or recrimination, the church should practically say to the colored 
clergy and laity, "Organize your own jurisdictional Convention with a bishop of 
your own race at the head. The bishops and church people in the bounds of 
your jurisdictional territory are your friends, and they will help and assist you. 
It may be, in the distant future, when all of us on both sides have advanced 
more nearly to the true ideal, that this tentative arrangement may lapse, and all 
of us will be comprehended in one Diocesan system. Until then, although some- 
what separated, let us love one another and work for the glory of God. We have 
confidence in you. We believe that you will accept this as a Providential 
opportunity and will demonstrate by your successful work in more largely and 
effectively reaching your race, the wisdom of the arrangement." 

The church has lost so many opportunities that we are fearful lest she let slip 
the present one. 

St. Thomas' Church, Philadelphia, was started just before the organic rise of 
African Methodism. If Bishop White, instead of making Absalom Jones a priest, 
had consecrated him bishop, to work among his African brethren in this country, 
the great African Methodist Church to-day would have been Episcopal and in 
full communion with the church. The church lost that opportunity. After 
the late Civil war, if the church had consecrated a colored priest as bishop to work 
among the African race in this country, following up the "ante-bellum" instruc- 
tion given the slaves in church families, with the nucleus of former slave com- 
municants, the church of to-day among the Negroes would be numerically large, 
vigorous and strong. The church lost that opportunity. For years some of us 
who have been branded as "up-starts," "heady," "not humble" and "ambitious," 
for the love that we have in our hearts for our dear Lord and His church, have 
been content to endure such things while we unfailingly and unflinchingly kept 
before the church the duty of the hour. 

That the church is moving in the direction of this demand is shown 
by the fact that there are now three annual Diocesan convocations of 
colored clergy and laity: Southern Virginia. South Carolina and North 
Carolina. One has already been arranged for Arkansas, which will be 
effective just so soon as there are sufficient colored clergy and laity. 

29. The Presbyterians. 

The Presbyterian Church, North, began missionary work among the Negroes of 
the South fully a year before the close of the Civil war. Two committees were at 
work under the direction of the General Assembly (0. S. ) as early as 1864 — one 
with headquarters at Indianapolis, and the other at Philadelphia. The work of 
these two committees from necessity was confined by military lines, and was 
chiefly in connection with military and "contraband" camps and hospitals. In 
May, 1865, the General Assembly meeting in Pittsburg united these committees 
under one general committee, entitled "The General Assembly's Committee on 
Freedmen." It met by order of the Assembly in the lecture room of the First 
Church, Pittsburg, and was organized June 22d, 1865. 

Before the re-union there was another work similar in character and purpose 
with headquarters in New York, carried on as a " Freedmen's Department," in 


connection with the Presbyterian Committee of Home Missions (N. S.). This 
"Freedmen's Department" existed only two years, making its second annual re- 
port in 1870. When the two Assemblies united in 1870, the work among the Freed- 
men as carried on from New York and Pittsburg was consolidated and a new 
committee appointed. This new committee was organized by direction of the 
Reunited General Assembly, June 10th, 1870, in Pittsburg, Pa. 

This committee continued to work without change of plan or reorganization 
for twelve years; but the question of the ownership of property, necessary to the 
work, and the handling of bequests made it evident that it would be better to 
have the committee incorporated. In 1882 the Assembly at Springfield, 111., sanc- 
tioned the change and the committee obtained a charter September 16th, 1882, and 
became a corporate body under the name of "The Board of Missions for Freedmen 
of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America." 

This board educates preachers and teachers; maintains ministers in their work 
and teachers in their schools; builds churches, school-houses, seminaries, acade- 
mies, colleges and dormitories; prescribes courses of study; looks after the condi- 
tion of buildings, and orders all repairs and extensions; elects professors and 
trustees; provides for boarding department all necessary utensils and furnish- 
ings; controls the various institutions of learning; receives monthly financial 
statements from all schools and audits all bills. 

Out of confusion, ignorance and poverty there has arisen a system of educa- 
tional and evangelistic work that commands the attention and demands the sup- 
port of the entire church. 

Schools, academies, seminaries and one large university have gathered within 
their walls young men and young women to the number of 11,000, who are brought 
under religious influence, and are being trained in the ways of the Presbyterian 

Congregations have been gathered and churches have been organized until now 
the board has under its watch and care SibO churches and missions containing 
21,000 members. Church buildings have been erected and property secured for the 
use of churches valued at $350,000. School property owned and used by the board 
in its work is estimated to be worth .$500,000. Funds permanently invested for the 
use of the work amount to $100,000, making almost $1,000,000 invested in property 
and permanent funds. This property, while absolutely necessary to the work of 
the board, entails a heavy annual expense in the way of repairs and insurance. 

As the work has been a matter of growth, and its influence operative from the 
time it began, the power for good must not be measured alone by this year's work 
or last year's work, but by all the work that has been done through all these years. 
Probably 50,000 people have professed their faith in Christ under the preaching of 
our ministers. The enrollment in our Sabbath schools, adding year to year, must 
have reached 400,000, and the total enrollment of students in our day schools from 
the time we began would count up to 250,000. 

The indirect influence of our work upon the communities in which our churches 
and schools have been established is hard to calculate, but the lives of thousands 
of our quiet, intelligent and order-loving citizens that are the product of our 
schools and churches must be included in the calculation, if we want to form an 
estimate of the amount of good that has been accomplished by the Presbyterian 
Church in its work among these people. 

In Virginia there is one colored Presbytery ; in North Carolina there are three ; 
in South Carolina three; in Georgia two; in Arkansas one, and in Alabama and 
Mississippi one. In these eleven Presbyteries, containing 209 ministers, there are 


only seven white men and of these all are teachers except two. In Florida we 
have four colored ministers; in Tennessee fourteen; in Kentucky four ; in Missouri 
one; in Indian Territory five ministers, two of whom are white. The larger 
part of our work lies in North Carolina, South Carolina and Southern Vir,2:inia. 

In view of the past history of the work, and of the great good that is being ac- 
complished, the board feels justified in saying that the Presbyterian (Uiurch has 
not yet given annually of its means an amount commensurate with tlie importance 
of this cause. The board has received from all sources (including legacies) for the 
last year about !(;i()0,000, whereas .*(;2r)(),000 would hardly begin to meet the reasona- 
ble demands of the work. 

In 1902 the work of the Presl)yterians was reported as follows : 

Ministers who preach only Hi) 

Ministers who prt'acli andteach lit 

Ministers who teacli only 11 

IjUymen who teach ii 

Women who teach 188 

Ministers 209 

Churches and missions 353 

Added on examination 1,787 

Added on certllicate "iOd 

Whole number 21,311 

Sunday-schools ;i.50 

Sunday-scht)ol scholars 21,299 

Number of schools 88 

Number of teachers 272 

Number of pupils 10,715 



Biddle University, Charlotte, N. C. 
Scotia Seminary, Concord, N. C. 
Mary Allen Seminary, Crockett, Tex. 
Ingleside Seminary, Burke ville, Va. 
Mary Holmes Seminary, West Point, Miss. 
Barber Memorial Seminary, Anniston, Ala. 


Albion Academy, Franklinton, N. C. 
Brainerd Institute, Chester, S. C. 
Cotton Plant Academy, Cotton Plant, Ark. 
Dayton Academy, Carthage, N. C. 
Harbison College, Abbeville, S. C. 
Haines Industrial School, Augusta, Ga. 
Immanuel Training School, Aiken, S. C. 
Mary Potter Memorial, Oxford, N. C. 
Monticello Academy, Monticello, Ark. 
Swift ^Memorial Institute, Rogersville, Tenn. 
Oak Hill Industrial, Clear Creek P. 0., I. T. 
Richard Allen Institute, Pine Bluff, Ark. 
And seventy-one academies and parochials. 

To this must be added Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. 

"The schools during this year have, almost without exception, done excellent 
work. Nearly 11,0(X) pupils have come under, not only Christian, but Presbyterian 
instruction. Over 1,800 young men and young women have been sheltered in our 
boarding schools, and have thus been given all the advantages of a Christian home 
training, as well as daily instruction in the ordinary branches of education." 

There are the following- Presbyterian churches in the North outside 
the Mission Board's work : 



Fifteenth Street, Washington, D. (!. 
Madison Street, Baltimore, Md. 
Grace, Baltimore, Md. 
Knox, Baltimore, Md. 
Gilbert, Wilniinmon, Del. 
Pomfret Strfet, Carlisle, Pa. 
Hope, Chaniliersburg, Pa. 
Second, Oxford, Pa 
Fifth, Chester, Pa. 
Central, Philadelphia, Pa. 
Berean, Philadelphia, Pa. 
First African, Philadelphia, Pa. 

Washington Street, Reading, Pa. 
Grace, Pittsburg, Pa. 
Fourth, York, Pa. 
Si loam, Elizatieth, N. J. 
Mission, G(jshen, N. Y. 
Mission, Washingtonville, N. Y. 
St. James, New York, N. Y. 
Mt. Tabor, New York, N. Y. 
Liberty Street, Troy, N. Y. 
St. James, Rochester, N. Y. 
Ninth, Indianapolis, Ind. 
Grace, Chicago, 111. 

"There are supposed to be from 10,000 to 12,000 Negro communicants who are 
members of white churches." 

Beside the work of the Northern Presbyterians there is considerable 
work done by the United Pres])yterians throug-h the school at Knoxville, 
Tenn., and various missions, and the Southern Presbyterians do some- 
thing. The General Assembly of 1899 of the church declared : 

The Assembly is gratified at the evidence of a fresh interest on the part of our 
people in the religious instruction of the Negroes, as shown in the increased num- 
ber of Sabbath schools for this race taught by the white people, and commends this 
work to all pastors and sessions. 

In the judgment of this Assembly the time has come for a great forward move- 
ment in the work of colored evangelization, and in confirmation of this judgment 
it calls the attention of our people to the following considerations : 

The work has perhaps a wider range than any other to which God has called us. 
"It includes the entering of a mission field, the erection of churches and manses, 
establishing and maintaining schools, the support of evangelists and pastors, the 
selection and training of a ministry — in short, every detail connected with the 
elevation of a race." 

Statistics show the prevalence of immorality and crime among the Negroes. If we 
are not moved by considerations of pity for them and syinpathy with our Lord in his 
love for the souls of all, we ought at least to remember that the temporal and spiritu- 
al welfare of our posterity is at stake. Are our children and children's children to 
inherit a land crying aloud to heaven because of violence and murder, and lynch 

The Presbyterian Church believes that it is peculiarly fitted to give the Negro 
what he needs. His needs are, in our judgment, a soundly educated ministry, 
sober instruction, simple and quiet rather than ritualistic or emotional modes of 
worship, a simple and orderly system of church government and discipline, and a 
"home life in which the children will be carefully trained and instructed in the 
Word of God and in the faith of the church." 

God has opened to us a wide door in Africa. The story of our mission on the 
Congo may be classed among the wonders of modern missionary annals. How 
are we to enlarge the work in Africa, so signally blessed with God's favor, except 
by enlarging the work for the Negroes at home? And how assuredly inconsistent 
to send missionaries to Africa while we neglect the Africans at our door. 

The work of the Southern Presbyterian Church for the Negro has reached the 
gravest crisis in its history. The few, feeble, and widely-scattered Negro churches, 
heretofore in organic union with the white churches, have been organized, in 
accordance with our long-cherished plan, into an Independent African Presbyte- 
rian Church. The charge has been brought against us that we have taken this 


action because of race prejudice, and with the purpose to rid ourselves of the bur- 
den of colored evangelization. 

Those who bring the charge ignore the fact that it was at the request of the 
colored ministers and elders in convention assembled that this step was taken. 
Our critics,- too, wherever they are brought into ecclesiastical proximity to the 
Negroes, manifest the very race prejudice they charge against us. These facts 
serve as missiles to hurl at those who censure us, but they will not relieve us of the 
odium in the sight of God and man, if we allow the new-born African Presbyterian 
Church to perish for want of sympathy and support; we shall be made "a spectacle 
unto the world, and to angels and to men." 

The Afro- American Presbyterian thus comments on the development of 
the church in the South : 

The writer and his people were connected with the old Sion Presbyterian Church 
at Winnsboro, S. C. The very next Sabbath after Sherman's army had swept 
through that community like a besom of destruction, the pulpit was occupied by 
the then Rev. W. E. Boggs, now of Jacksonville, Fla., who had unexpectedly ap- 
peared on the scene from Virginia. His text was, "God hath spoken once ; twice 
have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God." — Psalms 62:11. He sought to 
comfort the people by setting forth the superior power of God. From that Sabbath 
and for months the colored people occupied their accustomed place in the gallery 
of the church, the minister for the most part being a Rev. G. R. Brackett. 

Then the Federal garrison came. The old Methodist Church building was taken 
possession of Sunday afternoon by a large number of Negroes who had been con- 
nected with it. They had been allowed this privilege formerly, some white man 
being present. Now the meetings became large and noisy. The whites became 
alarmed. A few Sabbaths later when we approached the entrance to the yard of 
the Sion Church we were confronted by a Federal soldier, who ordered all Negroes 
away. It was afterwards learned that the church had applied to the commanding 
officer for this guard to keep out the Negroes. We all turned away never to feel 
at home in the old church any more. It was under somewhat similar conditions 
that the Negroes went out from the white Presbyterian Churches generally. A few 
hung on, but most of them drifted away. 

The Methodist and Baptist Churches among the colored people at the North 
were already old and strong organizations. The bishops and leaders pushed into 
the South and gathered in the people by the wholesale, and perhaps 70 per cent, of 
the Negroes who had been connected with the Southern Presbyterian Church went 
into these churches. Many of the intelligent and capable were made preachers 
and leaders. Exceptions may be pointed out, but the above describes the general 

This was the situation when the white Presbyterian missionaries came among 
the colored people of the Carolinas, Virginia, and Georgia, where nearly all the 
colored Presbyterians are now found. They came within reach of the scattered 
fragments which had either gone out or were freezing within Southern churches. 
They began in a small way by planting a few schools and organizing churches. 
The schools became centers of influence. Naturally the growth of the churches 
under the new conditions was rapid to a certain stage. 


30. The Congregationalists. The work of the Congregationalists has 
been done through the American Missionary Association. The fifty- 
sixth annual report of tliat Association (1902) gives the following history 
of the work : 

The American Missionary Association was formed in 1846. It is distinctly a 
Cliristian missionary society to spread the gospel of Christ wherever it has oppor- 
tunity. It was organized with pronounced opposition to slavery, which then ex- 
isted, and against all race and caste prejudice, which still exists. It was preceded 
by four recently established missionary organizations, which were subsequently 
merged into it. They were the Amistad Committee, the Union Missionary Society, 
the Committee for West India Missions among the recently emancipated slaves of 
Jamaica, and the Western Evangelical Missionary Society for work among the 
American Indians. 

In the foreign field, 1854, its laborers numbered seventy-nine, located in West 
Africa, Jamaica, the Sandwich Islands, Siam, Egypt among the Copts, (Canada 
among the colored refugees and in North America among the Indians. 

The home department embraced two distinct fields, the West and the South. 
There were 112 home missionaries employed by the Association in 1860, fifteen of 
them being located in the slave states and in Kansas. 

The missions in the slave states gave rise to some of the most stirring events in 
the history of the Association, which has the distinction of beginning the first de- 
cided efforts, while slavery existed, to organize churches and schools in the South 
on an avowedly anti-slavery basis. 

The crisis so long impending came at length, and the Union armies, entering 
the South in 1861, opened the way for the instruction and elevation of the colored 
people. The Association felt itself providentially prepared to engage in this work, 
and the first systematic effort for their relief was made by it. Large numbers of 
"contrabands," or escapjing fugitive slaves, were gathered at Fortress Monroe and 
Hampton, Va., and were homeless and destitute. The Association, on the 17th of 
September, 1861, established the first day school among the freedmen. That little 
school laid the foundation for the Hampton Institute which the Association 
founded later, and was the forerunner of the hundreds that have followed. 

The Proclamation of Emancipation, dated January 1, 1863, insured the permanent 
freedom of Negroes who reached the Union lines. The American Missionary As- 
sociation rapidly extended its work. At Norfolk the school of the previous year 
now numbered 1,200 pupils. Teachers were also sent to Newbern and Roanoke 
Island, N. C, to Beauf(jrt, Hilton Head, St. Helena and Ladies' Island, S. C, and to 
St. Louis, Mo. ; and its force was scattered over the field held by our armies in the 
District of Columbia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Louisiana, 
Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas. 

The year 1865 was marked by the close of the Civil war, by the establishment, by 
act of Congress, of the Freedmen's Bureau, and by the holdingof a National Coun- 
cil of Congregational Churches in Boston, which recommended to the churches to 
raise $250,000 for the work among the freedmen, and designated this A.ssociation as 
the organization providentially fitted to carry it forward. The Association ac- 
cepted the responsibility, appointed district secretaries at Chicago, Cincinnati and 
Boston, and collecting agents in other portions of the Northern states. It also 
solicited funds in Great Britain, and succeeded in securing that year a little more 
than the .$250,000 recommended by the Council. Its receipts from all sources ran 
up from .$47,828 in 1861, to .$253,045 in 1866, and $420,769 in 1870. 


But in the South there came a reign of terror under the infamous Ku-Klux- 
Klans— the Thugs of America. The colored people were often assaulted by mobs, 
dragged from their homes at midnight, and shot down in the streets. But there 
was no want of courage on the part of our teachers to enter or remain in the field ; 
the number of teachers, which was 320 in 1865, was enlarged to 52.8 in 1867, 532 in 
1868, and 583 in 1870. It was during this very period that the beginnings were 
made for most of our permanent educational institutions. The Association must 
train the teachers and preachers for this people. 

The Association now sustains as higher institutions Fisk University, Tennessee; 
Talladega College, Alabama; Tougaloo University, Mississippi; Straight Univer- 
sity, Louisiana; Tillotson College, Texas; and J. S.Green College, Georgia, together 
with forty-three normal and graded schools and thirty common schools scattered 
over the South and among the mountains, six schools among the Indians, twenty 
among the Chinese on the Pacific coast, one in Alaska and two in Porto Rico. 

Theological departments have also been established in Howard University, Fisk 
University, Talladega College and Straight University. Industrial instruction first 
began in Southern mission schools in Talladega, Ala., and was early introduced 
into many of our schools and has been constantly extended. Talladega College 
and Tougaloo University have large farms. In all the larger institutions and nor- 
mal schools mechanical arts are taught to the boys, and household work, cooking, 
sewing, washing, nursing, etc., to the girls. From these schools go forth annually 
hundreds of well-qualified teachers and ministers. 

Simultaneously with the founding of these permanent institutions the Associa- 
tion began the planting of churches among the freedmen. They were formed 
mainly in connection with the educational institutions, and were intended to be 
models of true church life. The work of church-planting has been pressed forward 
with a steady hand until the churches now number 2.54, located in nearly all the 
states of the South, among the Negroes, the mountaineers and the Indians, with 
most fruitful results. Sunday-schools, temperance efforts and revivals of religion 
have been marked features in the work. Christian Endeavor Societies were 
promptly organized and have been rapidly multiplied. 

Conferences or Associations have been formed, and of these there are now nine, 
designated as the Conferences of North Carolina, Cieorgia, Florida, Alabama, Mis- 
sissippi, Louisiana, Texas, South Carolina and Tennessee. 

As to the churches, one of the correspondmg secretaries writes: 
"The Congregational Churches, aided by the American Missionary Association, 
are both few and small in comparison with the great number of Negro churches, 
but I am happy to say that they are experiencing rapid growth and development. 
Within the last ten years the number of our churches has increased over 60 per 
cent. Within the last few years the growth has been even more manifest. The 
peculiarity of this growth is the up-springing of these churches in a great many 
of the back country regions. Formerly our churches were almost entirely in the 
immediate neighborhood and under the shelter of our schools. But in different 
states new movements have arisen spontaneously towards free churches which 
shall be in fellowship with one another at the same time, while they are not under 
any centralized ecclesiastical control. Naturally these churches turn to the Con- 
gregational fellowship. The indications are that within the next twenty years 
the number of them will be very largely increased. In many cases they are the 
natural result of our educational forces. They are not 'Congregational' in any 
sectarian sense, but they are largely of the nature of 'Union' Churches, except that 


they do not submit themselves to any centralized church government. Thus they 
fall within what might be called 'The Congregational Ellipse,' with its two foci of 
independence on the one side and fellowship on the other." 

The Rev. W. N. De Berry of St. John's Church, Springfield, Mass., 
made an mteresting study of these churches in 1901, and has placed the 
results in our hands.* Reports were received by him from thirty-three 
representative colored Congregational churches, in seventeen states, 
both North and South. They were asked the following questions and 
made these replies : 

1. About what per cent, of the membership of your church is above forty years 

of age ? 


Less than 10% 3 

10%-19% 5 

20'7c-29% 7 

30%-39% 6 

40%-49% 7 

50% 3 

W% 1 

Not known 1 

2. What proportion of your members came from churches of other denomina- 


None 2 

Less than 10% 7 

10%-19% 6 

20%-29% 5 

30%-;Wc 5 

40% 1 

50% 1 

75% 1 

9.5% 1 

Not stated 4 

3. Do these persons continue to hold and assert doctrines or beliefs peculiar to 
the churches from which they came ? 


Yes 2 I To some extent 4 

No 20 I May hold, but do not assert 6 

Unanswered 1 

4. What is the state of feeling on the part of other denominations in your town 
toward your church ? 


Friendly 19 I Jealous and antagonistic 4 

Hostile ti U n i ty of denominations, save 

Growing friendly 2 | Baptists 2 

.5. Are the Congregationalists regarded as exclusive or "stuck up" ? If so, what 

reasons do you assign for this ? 


Yes 22 I No 6 

To some extent 5 

Some reasons : 

(a) Absence of emotionalism. 

(b) 1. Lack of Information on part of those who regard us as exclusive, and 

failure to seek that information. 
2. Ignorance, which always condemns the intelligent as "stuck up." 
;i. The lack of Christian grace on our part which would lead us to treat 

with special cordiality these people that we might win them. 
4. The large proportion of educated people among us who naturally seek 

companionship and association among people of like education. 

* For Mr. De Berry's report see the Ccmgregatwnalist, January 11, 1902. 


(c) Intelligence and mode of worship. 

(d) Intelligence and education. 

(e) High religious, moral, and intellectual standard required of our ministers 

and alnaed at in our churches. 
(/) Superiority in education and wealth. 

(ff) Because we condemn Ignorance and superstition in pulpit and pew. 
(h) Because we sometimes think and act as though we are better than others. 

6. What per cent, of the money required for the current expenses of your church 
is raised in your own parish ? 


Less than 10% 1 

10%-19% 1 

20%-a9% 2 

;i0%-39% 6 

40%-4i)% 2 

50%-59% 3 

70%-79% 2 

80%-89% 2 

90%-99% 2 

lOO'ji 7 

Pay all expenses, save pastor's sal- 
ary, and pay part of that. 

60%-69% 2 I Unanswered 1 

7. Do you regard the amount thus raised as in sufficient proportion to the finan- 
cial ability of your parish ? 


Yes 9 I Almost yes 2 

No 19 I Unanswered 3 

8. In your opinion, has the progress of Congregationalism among the colored 
people any peculiar hindrances? If so, name them. 


Yes 27 I Yes, and no 1 

No 4 I Unanswered 1 

Among the peculiar hindrances the following are mentioned: Lack of denomina- 
tional knowledge, enthusiasm, loyalty, literatvire, and effort to Increase the mem- 
bership, the high standards, mental and otherwise, the mode of conducting service, 
the lack of emotionalism, the lack of denominational emphasis, the low average in- 
telligence of Negro masses, lack of spiritual activity on the part of pastors, and 
newness of the work. 

9. In your opinion, are the prospects for the growth of Congregationalism among 
the colored people encouraging ? If so, upon what do you base your opinion ? 

Yes 30 I Unanswered 1 

The prospects are reported encouraging for the following reasons: The in- 
creased interest in, and desire for, education, the activity of the ministers, the 
discontent with the old order of things, the regard for the church and its methods. 

Other answers are : 

ta) Oongregationnllsm must grow slowly. There is no reason to hope for phe- 
nomenal growth in the Immediate future. 

(b) It depends upon what we mean to do. If the denomination will make the 
preaching of the gospel and the planting of Congregational Churches on 
this Southern field its first and main work and put a reasonable portion of 
missionary money and many more men and women into church work 
directly, then the prospects are most encouraging and indeed all we can 
ask. Rapid growth is a foregone conclusion. 


10. Suggestions : 

The work Is new, needs much attention and encouragement; the American Mis- 
sionary Association schools need to care more about emphasizing the church; 
the pastors need concentrated organization. It will succeed or fall as Interest in 
education goes. 

The statistics of Congregationalism are as follows (1902) : 

Added on profession 1,190 

Benevolent contributions $ 2,813.68 

Raised for church purposes 39,397.82 

Sunday-school scholars 17,311 

Number of churches 230 

Ministers and missionaries 139 

Church members 12,155 

Total additions 1,429 

"Last year we enrolled a larger number of new churches than for any year since 
1895. The present year has not been marked either by great advances or regressions. 
There has been steady progress in individual churches, especially in the increased 
responsibility about management of their own work. The general increase in the 
number of churches is manifest from the fact that ten years ago our Southern 
churches numbered 140; they now number 230. 

"The improvement of the four-fifths of the Negro population who live in the 
rural regions is often exaggerated. It is still shadowed with an ignorance which 
has barely been touched by the light of a scanty school training for a few weeks of 
the year and with a church life peculiarly infiltrated with superstition. In vast 
plantation populations the old slave church still stands. Honesty, truth and purity 
are not taught, because neither people nor preacher have come to realize that 
these virtues are essential to the religious life. The ethical power of Christianity 
is scarcely felt, and 'the plantation preacher is the curse of the people.' The time 
is ripe for a forward gospel campaign in this great, needy black South of the back 

The figures above include a few white members. 



Chartered institutions 6 

Normal and graded schools. 43 
Common schools 30 

( Instructors 480 

Totals. - Pupils 14,048 

( Boarding pupils 2,055 


Theological 95 

Collegiate 271 

College preparatory 365 

Normal 1,597 

Grammar 2,916 

Intermediate 3,245 

Primary 5,465 

Music 292 

Night 66=14.312 

Counted twice 264 

Total 14,048 




Flsk Unlversltv, Nashville, Tenn 498 

Talladega College, Talladega, Ala 534 

Tougaloo University, Tougaloo, Miss 502 

Straight Unlversltv, New t)rleans, La 709 

Tillotson College, Austin, Tex 148 

J. S. Green College, Demorest, Ga 498= <> 


Gloucester School. Oappahosic, Va 113 

Gregory Institute, Wilmington, N. C 310 

Washburn Seminary, Beaufort, N.C 156 

Lincoln Academv, All Healing, N. C 251 

Skyland Institute, Blowing Rock, N. O 8;^ 

Saluda Seminary, Saluda, N.C 123 

Joseph K. Brick Agricultural, Industrial and Normal School, 

Enfield. N. C 211 

Bethany School. McLeansvllle.N. C 90 

Peabodv Academv, Troy, N.C 135 

Whittier. N.C 96 " 

Avery Institute, Charleston, S. C 352 

Brewer Normal School. Greenwood, S. C 264 

Beach Institute, Savannah. Ga 285 

Dorchester Academy, Mcintosh, Ga 357 

Storrs School, Atlanta, Ga 326 

Ballard Normal Institute, Macon, Ga 519 

Allen Normal and Industrial School, Thomasville, Ga 210 

Knox Institute, Athens, Ga 291 

Normal Institute, Alliany, Ga 349 

Lamson School, Marshallvllle, Ga 2-59 

Cuthbert, Ga 224 

Normal School, Orange Park, Fla 189 

Fesscnden Scluxil, Martin. Fla 250 

Trinity School, Alliens, Ala 210 

Lincoln Normal School, Marlon, Ala 304 

Emerson Institute, Mobile, Ala 266 

Green Academy, Nat, Ala 83 

Normal and Industrial Collegiate Institute, Joppa, Ala 191 

Cotton Vallev, Ala 234 

Kowaliga, Ala 195 

Helena, Ark 165 

Le Moyne Institute, Memphis, Tenn 612 

Slater'Training School, Knoxvllle, Tenn 172 

Warner Institute, Jonesboro,Tenn 120 

Grand View Academv, Grand View, Tenn 219 

Pleasant Hill Academv, Pleasant Hill, Tenn 325 

Big Creek Gap. Tenn 188 

Chandler Normal School, Lexington, Ky 270 

WilliiiTusburg Academy, Williamsburg, Ky 277 

Black Mountain Academv, Evarts. Ky 115 

Lincoln School. Meridian, MLss 320 

Girls' Industrial School, Moorhead, Miss 106 

Mound Bayou, Miss 87=43 

Common Schools =30 

The American Missionary Association has stood firmly from the first 
for unlimited opportmiity in education. It was a pioneer in industrial 
training and at the same time it has refused to abandon higher educa- 

"Too much emphasis cannot be laid on the work of our higher institutions, in- 
chiding the normal schools, which contain over 1,500 pupils. We believe in the 
higher education for those who show ability and aptitude. This is the most im- 
portant part of the work of this Association. We utterly protest against the posi- 
tion that primary studies and industrial work are all that should be taught the 
Negro. This Association must not swerve from its object; better facilities and 
more advanced cour-ses of study should be the aim. An examination of the 
courses of study in a large number of the educational institutions of the American 



Missionary Association shows that many of them are abreast of our best Northern 
schools in modern methods." 

31. Summary of Negro Churches 1900=1903. Dr. H. K. Carroll reports 
the following membership of Negro church bodies in the United States, 
not including foreign mission membership, for the year 1903: 



























Union American Methodists 

Afrk-nn Methodists 

African Union Methodist Protestants . 
African Zlon Methodists 


Cumberland Presbyterians 





To these may be added the following figures as already given 





Methodists (Methodist Episcopal) . ... 










' Not iucluding twenty-four Northern colored churches. 

This would make an approximate total of 3,622,843 communicants in 
Negro churches not including colored members of white congregations. 
The study of the different sects brings out striking facts. 

1. Early tendencies toward race segregation. 

This is shown in the history of the secessions from Methodism. It 
had the advantage of showing the capabilities of the race, but the dis- 
advantage of separating friends, helpers and co-religionists. 

2. Later tendencies toward race co-operation. 

This has taken several forms. Among the Baptists there has been 
simple co-operation among independent churches. Some friction has 
arisen : the white Baptist mission societies have failed to understand 
the Negro desire for home rule and autonomy, and the Negro recipients 
have not fully appreciated the help they have received from without; 
the Episcopalians have insisted on treating the Negroes as wards under 
age, while the Presbyterians have made them a department in the 

8. The failure of mere charity. 

Nothing is more striking or hopeful for the Negroes than the manifest 
fact that mere charity or patronage, however bountiful, has not satisfied 


them. The richest church has nearly the smallest Negro membership, 
not because it does not give to them, but because it does not treat them 
as equals. The church with the largest Negro membership is confronted 
by the strange fact that its black members have actually refused its 
alms, while the Methodist Episcopal Church has a hard time to keep its 
colored membership from secession despite pecuniary advantages. 

4. Negro ability to organize and control. 

Can Negroes rule ? The experience of Hayti is not encouraging, 
but the experience of the African churches in America is pretty em- 
phatic proof of the affirmative. What causes the difference ? The 
Afx'ican church is the oldest Negro organization, dating in part from 
Africa itself, and liere Negroes have had the most liberty and experience. 
Political experience, on the other hand, tliey almost entirely lacked, 
and instead of teachers they had hindrances and detraction. 

In fact, we have in the history of Negro churches one of the most 
important examples of the meaning and working of Social Heredity as 
distinguished from Physical Heredity that the modern world affords. 

32. Negro Laymen and the Church. Some 200 Negro laymen of aver- 
age intelligence, in all parts of the country, were asked a schedule of 
questions and answered as follows. The states represented are Geor- 
gia, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, North Carolina, 
South Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Colorado, 
Illinois and Pennsylvania. The answers of a few ministers are in- 
cluded : 

So far as you have observed what is the present condition of our 
churches in your community ? 

Very good 23 

Good 49 

Progressing, improving, prosperous 16 

Heavy financial burdens hindering spiritual conditions 9 

Fair financially, low spiritually; more intelligent 3 

Not so well attended as formerly, but attendants more devoted. ... 2 

Good, bad and indifferent 6 

Fair, with vast room for improvement 13 

Well attended, but mostly in financial straights 12 

Poor, bad ; not what they should be 12 

Here and there a sign of improvement 1 

Too much involved with financial efforts 5 

Lack of piety and true missionary spirit; need of earnest preachers. 2 

At a standstill spirtually ; not influential enough among the young. 2 
As far as general improvement is concerned, would say, Congrega- 

tionalists, the Methodists, then Baptists 1 

Retrograding spiritually 4 

Can't say, don't know ; not answered 5 

Is their influence, on the whole, toward pure, honest, upright living 
on the part of the members? 


Yes • 71 

To a very large extent 13 

To some extent 17 

Room for improvement 5 

Not so on account of preacher 1 

Belief and doctrine advocated too much to have influence for good, 

upright living 1 

Purport simply to bear good influence over the people 1 

Not surticient emphasis laid on Christian living ... 2 

Influence good, but members do not live as they should 2 

Cannot say positively yes, though there are exceptions 3 

No 17 

Generally so ; much advancement 6 

Not answered 5 

Are the ministers usually good men ? If not, what are their chief 
faults ? Cite some specific cases, with or without names : 

Yes 37 

Generally good men 10 

Majority good; some exceptions. Faults: Intemperance, dishones- 
ty, careless living, selfish ambition, sexual impurity 31 

Some good, some bad 9 

Some good, majority bad 4 

Few good, majority bad 3 

Not intelligent 6 

Fairly good 3 

Chief faults : Selfishness and dogmatism 4 

Fault of some : Immorality 8 

Fault of some : Deceptiveness 1 

Fault of some : Too great love for money 3 

Moral status low 1 

Faults: Lack of earnestness, sexual impurity, intemperance, love 

of worldly things 6 

Proportion of good ones is increasing 2 

Fault of some : Bigamy 1 

Only a few whom I have not heard rumors about 1 

Appear good, but do not know how to influence the young 1 

"No better than they ought to be" 2 

Some good, but among others the chief faults are sexual impurity, 

improper attention to women, and selfishness 4 

No, not generally so 6 

Miscellaneous 7 

Unanswered 5 

Of the ministers whom you know, how many are notoriously immoral ? 
What direction does their immorality take : sexual impurity, dishonesty 
in money matters, drunkenness, or what ? Cite some particular in- 
stances, with or without names: 

None immoral ; all good men 28 

Very few immoral 2 

Some few are not what they should be ; do not come up to the true 
standard 4 


One or more are lax in financial matters 8 

Some few are sexually impure and dishonest in money matters; ma- 
jority good 12 

Intemperate 3 

Some intemperate ; some cannot be trusted in money matters 1 

Chief faults of some: Sexual impurity and intemperance 8 

Chief fault : Sexual impurity 12 

Many guilty of all 6 

Not answered 17 

Some of the answers are : 


I can name a few who are said to be immoral, but cannot say from personal 
knowledge that they are notoriously immoral. — Girard. 

I believe we have some ministers who are guilty of every fault named in question 
four, but I think that one of their worst habits is in their tearing down good 
church buildings; and in their rebuilding they don't seem to have any care for the 
strain they place upon their members. — Mobile. 

I think proselyting and exaggerating minor doctrinal differences a real hin- 
drance. Also the loose methods in vogue of conducting church finances— both in 
collecting and expending — a serious drawback. — Mobile. 

Two at present in the city. I know others, but they are not preaching here now. 
Sexual impurity. They are the only ones in the city with the degree of D. D. — one 
a Methodist, the other Baptist. They both ruined the good names of two young 
women. — Mobile. 


I know some 500 ministers. Of that number probably about 100 are immoral; 
10 per cent, of the 100 are sexually immoral, 20 per cent, dishonest, 70 per cent, 
drink. — Colorado Springs. 


I know of no minister who is notoriously immoral. Yet occasionally there 
comes a little confusion in the churches here because when money is collected for 
one purpose, through the minister's influence it is used for another. Such actions 
always do cause church fusses which last for some time. — Gainesville. 

I know of five around this city who are grossly immoral. Their immorality 
takes these directions: intemperance, sexual immorality, and dishonesty in money 
matters. Two cases of gross immorality came to light recently on two preachers. 
One preacher has recently been dropped for dishonesty in money matters.— JacA- 


1 cannot say how many ; perhaps twenty. Women and unfair dealings in money 
matters. I have known comparatively few who drink, and still fewer who drink 
to excess. — Atlanta. 

About one-tenth of all the ministers in that community (Perry, Ga..) are noto- 
riously immoral, especially in the direction of sexual impurity, dishonesty and 
drunkenness. — Atlanta. 

One of the most common and general faults against preachers is their failure to 
pay promptly financial obligations. I know a few who are said to be guilty of 
sexual impurity, some others who get drunk. — Atlanta. 


I regret that I know some ministers who are immoral and they are publicly 
known to be immoral, but they manage to hold congregations and preach (?) to 
them. — Augusta. 

The doubtful three might be classified as follows: Two for sexual impurity, 
one for general looseness, insincerity, questionable methods, etc. — Augusta. 

I know ten and could name more if I would strain my memory who are noto- 
riously immoral. Some of these are sexual impurity, dishonesty in money matters 
and drunkenness. I have seen this on the streets of Albany. I have not seen any 
preacher drunk on the streets here in Brunswick. — Brunswick. 

By common report, yes. Sexual impurity, dishonesty in money matters lead in 
order given. I know ministers who drink, but they never to my knowledge become 
intoxicated. — College. 

I could name as many as ten who drink whiskey and are untruthful. Many are 
dishonest in money matters. There is a preacher near my home who is a down- 
right drunkard. He first led his members astray by indulging them in this evil 
habit, so that now it is a corrupt church. — Jewells. 

About one-third of them are either sexually impure (these being perhaps in the 
majority), dishonest in money matters and (given to) drunkenness. These are 
distributed equally. — Macon. 

I do not know many who are grossly immoral. I have in mind three, two of 
whom are sexually impure; the other a drunkard, thief, and he was also sexually 
impure. They say all Baptist preachers in country drink. — Newnan. 

Six: (1) three are dishonest in money matters, and are liars; (2) three, whose 
immorality seems to take almost every direction. I would add that nearly all of 
the ministers of my acquaintance in the rural districts are distrusted more or less 
from a moral standpoint. — Powelton. 

I know several who do not even try to conceal their habits of drink and sexual 
impurity, as well as being dishonest in money matters. — Savannah. 


About 10 per cent, are notoriously immoral; about 2 per cent, are sexually im- 
pure, 2 per cent, dishonest in money matters, and about per cent, are liquor 
drinkers to a very great extent. — Coffeeville. 

In a radius of five miles of us there are twelve ministers. Five are e.xceedingly 
immoral in sexual impurity and drunkenness. — Westside. 

North Carolina 

Confining my answer to this community and to the present time, I know only 
one man of bad report. He is charged with stealing church funds. — Charlotte. 

Comparatively few. The Central North Carolina Conference is the largest one 
that I have — about 100 pastors. During the last ten years we have had an average 
of not more than one case a year, about equally divided between sexual impurity, 
drunkenness, and dishonesty in money matters. — Fayetteville. 

South Carolina 

About 10 per cent, are notoriously immoral. Immorality takes to sexual im- 
purity, drunkenness, and dishonesty in money matters. — Hart.svllle. 


Three or four. Their immorality takes all these directions. — Memphis. 

They drink a great deal, but do not get drwnW.— Memphis. 



Fifteen notoriously immoral : nine sexually impure, four are drunkards, and two 
are dishonest in money matters. — Dallas. 

There are but few notoriously immoral. Some are sexually impure, some dis- 
honest in money matters, still fewer drunkards. The great deficiency in the min- 
ister's estimated salary causes failure upon their part to meet honest obligations, 
which places them in an awkward shape. — Littig. 

About one-fifth. The greatest number belong to the class of sexually impure ; a 
few dishonest in money matters, and there are a few drunkards. — Paris. 


To the first, I say not one. While our ministers do not preach temperance as 
they should, yet I never heard of one being drunk. — Frederick's Hall. 

Two of whom I know are immoral. One is not an active minister, but a kind of 
missionary secretary in North Carolina. The other one was in our community, 
but is now in Kentucky, in jail, I am informed. — Lynchburg. 

I know a large number of ministers in this and other states. One out of every 
four I would regard as being morally bad. In the order named, I would say that 
se.xual impurity holds the first place, drunkenness the next, and money matters 
third. — Petersburg. 

None. Some are not careful in the use of other people's money. Some abhor 
total abstainence and even temperance, while some others are by no means trust- 
worthy. — Richmond. 

Four: Sexual impurity. 2; dishonesty in regard to money, 1; drunkenness,!. 
One was excluded for over-exaction of money in connection with his mother-in- 
law. — Rappahannock. 

Is the Sunday-school effective ui teaching good manners and soinid 
morals ? 

Yes ; it is effective 66 

Fairly so. To some extent partially so 29 

Not as effective as it should be ; vast room for improvement 11 

The teaching is tending more and more in that direction 9 

These ends are sought for 5 

Not generally in manners, but they teach effectively sound morals.. 1 
The Sunday-schools are doing a good work ; greatest hindrance 

lack of attendance 1 

To some extent; depends greatly on the home training 2 

Where we have teachers and preachers of this stamp they are 1 

In part at least too many fail, but on the whole much good is done 1 

Sunday-school not so effective, but does much good 2 

My own exceptionally good in this. Can not speak definitely of 

others. I think they are good . . 2 

Depends on teachers and officials 2 

These subjects generally neglected 2 

Cannot say definitely 3 

No; it is not 17 

Some answers were : 

I fear that it is not. I think its ineffectiveness, however, is due to the lack of 
these in the home more than to the teaching. The hour, or hour and a half, out 


of 168 does not do effectively what the 167 or 166'^ hours have failed to do, or undo 
what they have done. — Houston, Tex. 

Most Sunday-schools in the West are merely playing at teaching. They lack 
purpose and thoroughness, interest and soundness. — Denver, Col. 

It is not generally used for that purpose, but to instil sectarian animosity. 
There are, however, some blessed exceptions. — Jackson, Miss. 

With but one exception, the Sunday-schools do not take up questions of morals 
and manners. — Troy, N. C. 

Real good manners, an almost obsolete term. Children are catching the spirit 
of the age. Some schools seem effective towards good manners and good morals. — 
Atlanta, Ga. 

Do the churches you are acquainted with do much charitable and 
reformatory work among the poor in slums and jails or elsewhere ? Cite 

Yes, some are quite active 11 

They aid the sick and the poor 17 

To a certain extent. Fairly well 10 

Not very much 29 

Only one church here can claim any share in the charitable work of 

the community 17 

They help the poor 2 

They are attentive to the sick, and this is about as far as it goes. ... 8 
Not generally, but the number engaged in such work is constantly 

increasing 1 

As much as they can according to their intelligence and ability. . . 1 

No, they do not 40 

Do not know ; cannot say definitely 3 

Unanswered 4 

Some answers follow: 

Some of them do creditable work along this line. One pastor preaches in a 
tobacco factory every Saturday. — Richmond,Va. 

Yes. First Congregational Church, poor-house and jail ; Episcopal Church, 
Orphan's Home. — Memphis, Tenn. 

Until the meeting of the "Young People's Congress" very little of such work was 
accomplished, but a goodly number are now actively engaged in such work. — 
Memphis, Tenn. 

Yes. When we consider their small means, I think it can fairly be said that 
they do, in various ways, a large part of the charitable work. Aside from taking 
contributions, from time to time, for what is usually called missionary work, the 
churches, as a whole or body, are not doing much, I think, but individual mem- 
bers of churches are doing much individual charitable work in various ways. 
They feed, clothe, warm and pay house rent for the needy. Twelve persons paid a 
girl's expenses at Fisk University last year, or half of that expense. The Negro's 
charity, for the present, consists more in his doing for the needy than it does in his 
giving. — Chattanooga, Tenn. 

They have no systematized methods nor regular general organizations for this 
kind of work. Pastors and individual churches, however, take up such work. We 


have a Home for Aged Women and an Orphan's Home which we support. — Alle- 
ghemj City, Pa. 

There is an Old Folk's Home supported by the Methodist Episcopal Churches, 
and another supported by the Baptist Churches. I know individuals who do 
prison work. — New Orleans, La. 

We have a notable instance in a Baptist colored clergyman, who for twenty 
years has solicited and distributed some $500 or more in the interests of a Thanks- 
giving dinner for the white and colored poor in jails and asylums, and has funds 
left to repeat for both Christmas and New Year's dinners. Funds are given 
mostly by the whites, if not wholly — a marked instance of general confidence. — 
Mobile, Ala. 

In one church a day nursery, a kindergarten, a gymnasium, a kitchen garden, 
and reading room for boys are carried on with more or less persistence and suc- 
cess. In another church there is a kindergarten. — Chicago, El. 

Do the young people join the church and support it ? 

Yes ; they do 48 

The young join, but do not do much supporting; chief support from 

the older members 28 

Usually. In the majority of cases they do 3 

Some do, others do not 4 

Many young people help to support. Many recently joined 2 

Depends on the church and the minister. Some churches have 

large numbers of them 1 

Many join, but few remain in the church. The support is meagre.. 1 

About one-fourth 1 

Only a few young members, but they support as best they can 1 

Very few, a small proportion. Majority of them do not 2 

They do not support the church 1 

Not as much as they did a few years ago 1 

To some degree. To a limited extent 4 

The accessions from among the young people are increasing rap- 
idly 1 

The young are too much bent on pleasure 3 

No ; they do not 2 

Unanswered 4 

Some answers are : 

The great masses who come into the church are young people. They make the 
best members, all things considered. — Richmond, Va. 

I think the young people need to be disciplined a great deal along that line. — 
Richmond, Va. 

They do to a degree commensurate with their home training. — Lynchburg, Va. 

They are being trained toward supporting churches and schools. — Bowling Oreen, 

Not as I would wish, but more than is generally thought. About two-thirds of 
the girls and boys who come to our school are members of churches and support 
the church in a fairly good manner. — Austin, Tex. 

Many of them join the churches and make big promises but, as a rule, do but 
little. Some will pray, but won't pay; others will pay, but won't pray; a large 


number won't pay nor pray, and a blessed few who both pray and pay.— Chatta- 
nooga, Tenn. 

They join during revivals and leave at the close. They contribute often because 
they like to go up to the table. If this were stopped our churches would suffer 
financially. — Darlington, S. C. 

The young people when they have attained the ages of fifteen or twenty join 
the church, but as to supporting the church, I think those of the less aristocratic 
churches do more in the line of support for the church. In the aristocratic 
churches the older folks support the church. — Charleston, S. C. 

They delight in Sunday-school, Christian Endeavor, Young People's Union and 
church work. Are enthusiastic over it. The churches are largely made up of 
young people. — Allegheny City, Pa. 

Fairly well, but they are hindered by the old members and often caused to 
become discouraged and indifferent by the actions of the leaders and influential 
members. — High Point, N. C. 

Not generally among the men ; more among the women. Church-going has de- 
generated into a fashion. — Jackson, Miss. 

In those churches where the organization and training have been carefully done 
they do. In others I fear they do not systematically nor to the proper extent. — 
Augusta, Ga. 

Not to the desired end, but there is being more and more thought and said con- 
cerning this very important duty. — Atlanta, Ga. 

What is the greatest need of our churches ? 

An earnest, consecrated, educated, wide-awake, intelligent minis- 
try 24 

An educated, well-trained Christian ministry 25 

A good, pure ministry 6 

True conversion, practical religion, true Christianity 4 

Honest, upright leaders, both preachers and officers 9 

Earnest, educated, consecrated Christian workers 5 

Consecrated ministers and faithful members 5 

More money and better preachers 5 

The spirit of Christ and the Holy Ghost 2 

Finance 3 

Unity and practical Christian living. '. l 

Do not know 1 

Some answers are : 

I think there is need of improvement in intellect and in a financial way.— Fin- 
cent. Ark. 

A practical knowledge of right and wrong. — Mobile, Ala. 
Regard for spiritual ideals. — Mobile, Ala. 

A more perfect knowledge of the requirement of Jesus upon his followers. — Col- 
orado Springs, Col. 

Downright seriousness and actual missionary spirit and efforts.— Z)enver, Col. 
High-toned Christian ministers in the pulpits and teachers of the same kind in 
Sunday-schools. — Atlanta, Ga. 


Able and pure men as pastors and a warm oratory to reach and hold the masses. — 
Atlanta, Ga. 

1 should say more si)iritual life. This lack is very general in our churches of 
to-day. — Atlanta, Ga. 

First of all, better men in the ministry. It would follow that the members 
would be better. — Augusta, Ga. 

They need so many things it is hard to say dogmatically what is the greatest 
need. — Augusta, Ga. 

The greatest need is to live up to what we preach. Do away with so much emo- 
tion and do practical work. " If ye love me keep my commandments." — Brunsivick, 

1. Properly trained ministers. 2. Upright, cultured and Christian officers who 
possess business knowledge. 3. Bibles for congregational reading. 4. Song books 
for congregational singing. — Macon, Ga. 

Decidedly, an educated ministry and a higher standard of morality. — Rome, Ga. 

1. Pure ministry. 2. Less costly edifices. 3. More cliaritable work. 4. Practical 
sermons, i. e., how to live, etc. — Savannah, Ga. 
Thoughtful workers. — Thomasville, Ga. 
Moral ministers who are able to chastise immorality. — Princeton, Ky. 

1. The Holy Spirit's power. 2. Clean, heroic, unselfish pastors who love God, 
righteousness and souls. 3. Deacons who fill the scripture standard. 4. Members 
who fear God because they are really new creatures in Christ. — Jackson, Miss. 

The continued emphasizing of intelligent worship, spirituality instead of form- 
ality, and efforts to keep them from substituting respectability and high social 
fi^rnis for Christian piety. — Allegheny City, Pa. 

Good preachers, who read, study, and can apply what they read. Thinkers who 
will make the churches attractive. Church boards composed of those who are not 
afr^iid to hold their preacher to a certain standard or get rid of him. — Darlington, 
S. C. 

Less emphasis on financial matters and more practical preaching as to economy 
in living and home-getting. — Florence, S. 0. 

A broad, able and educated ministry, capable of entertaining the congregation, 
from the most illiterate to the most scholarly, with practical, common-sense doc- 
trine. — Houston, Tex. 

Punctuality, business sense, stability, devotion, ideals and tact, a faithful, a well- 
enlightened, and a religious pew. — Littlg, Tex. 

Men of high intellectual, moral and religious standings. — Paris, Tex. 

A pure ministry rather than an educated one. Spirituality. The abolition of 
questionable methods of raising money, such as festivals, entertainments, excur- 
sions, etc. — Paris, Tex. 

A large membership of solid, sensible, exemplary men, who will take a lively in- 
terest in the religious life of the church as well as its business matters. — Prairie 
View. Tex. 

More liberal support on the part of the church members. — Achilles, Va. 

Money to support pastors, and the Holy Spirit to enlighten the inner man. — 
Bowling Green, Va. 


Better learned ministers and punctuality. — C'hula Depot, Va. 

Possibly education. — Fredericks Hall, Va. 

I am of the opinion that the greatest need is morally and intellectually 
trained leaders, especially pastors; and when I say "morally and intellectually," I 
mean all that those terms can imply in the highest institutions of learning and 
under the best influence. Nothing that is really good for a white person is too 
good for a Negro. I am of the opinion that when this is recognized and the Negroes 
have leaders accordingly, we shall be a long distance on the way to the solution of 
the so-called "problem." — Richmond, Va. 

Co-operation and sympathy with each other. This would make the work more 
effective and extend it more widely among the people. — New Orleans, La. 

Are the standards of morality in your community being raised or low- 
ered in respect to sexual morals, home-life, honesty, etc. ? 

They are being raised 81 

They are being raised gradually 8 

Raised to some extent, yet room for improvement 14 
Lowered in respect to sexual morals; raised as to the other (juali- 

ties 7 

Cannot speak encouragingly on this line 8 

The standards are being lowered 14 

Do not believe they are 2 

Cannot say 7 

Unanswered 9 

Some answers follow: 

I think the standard is being raised, which is due mainly to increase in good 
schools. — Augusta, Ga. 

There is less intemperance in the new-made homes than formerly existed in the 
old homes. This is largely the work of the school teacher. — Augusta, Ga. 

To this question I must sadly admit it is not what it was twenty-five years ago. — 
Brunswick, Ga. 

It is being raised. Young men and women coming from our colleges are mar- 
rying and are setting the standard in their communities for higher moral living. 
Their home life and honest dealing in the community are helpful, and are being 
diffused in all the homes to some degree. — Brunswick, Ga. 

We have .«everal homes that are models of purity and good morals. — La Grange, 

There is some effort being made toward a higher standard which, if supported 
and encouraged, will result in much good in that direction. — Borne, Ga. 

The church has influence on its members and they all live uprightly. — Prince- 
ton, Ktj. 

A good condition generally obtains in tlie churches, and where susjjicion rests 
the parties are made to feel uncomfortable owing to the pojiular sentiment. — Al- 
legheny, Pa. 

As to the lower classes I do not know, but the educated few are being raised. 
Charleston is not as great an educational center as it oue:!it to be and for this rea- 
son, I think, for the masses it is not doing as much in respect to sexual morals and 
home life as it might. — Charleston, S. C. 


It is being raised. The church and the schools are the levers. — Hartsville, S. C. 

The very best sign we have of the Negro's substantial progress is his rapidly 
increasing respect for the marriage vow, and the many living, beautiful, happy 
illustrations of his determination to keep that vow. There are hundreds and 
thousands of pure homes and beautiful, well-ordered families among us now, 
whereas, thirty-five years ago there were but few. — Chattanooga, Tenn. 

Yes, positively. An able, eloquent minister was forced to leave one of our 
churches here recently because there were "rumors" and a "belief" that he was 
immoral. — Austin, Tex. 

Yes, I think so — perhaps more through the influence of the schools than other- 
wise. — Prairie View, Tex. 

Under conditions our people compare favorably with any other people. — Peters- 
burg, Va. 

33. Southern Whites and the Negro Church. The diffictilty of getting 
valuable expressions on the Negro churches from Soitthern white peo- 
ple is that so few of them know anything about these churches. No 
human beings live further apart than separate social classes, especially 
when lines of race and color and historic antipathies intervene. Few 
white people visit Negro churches and those who do go usually for 
curiosity or ''fun," and consequently seek only certain types. The 
endeavor was made in this ease, liowever, to get the opinion of wliite 
people whose business relations or sympathies liave brought them into 
actual contact with these churches. A few of the names in this list are 
of Northern people, but the great majority are white Southerners. The 
circular sent out was as follows: 

Your name has been handed to us as that of a person interested in the Negroes 
of your community and having some knowledge of their churches. We are mak- 
ing a study of Negro churches and would particularly like to have your opinion on 
the following matters : 

1. What is the present condition of the Negro churches in your community ? 

2. Is their influence, on the whole, toward pure, honest life ? 

3. Are the Negro ministers in your community good men ? 

4. Are the standards of Negro morality being raised ? 

We would esteem it a great favor if you would give us your opinion on these 

Some of the answers follow : 

J, M. Wilkinson, President Valdosta Southern Railway Company, 
Valdosta, Ga. : 

1. In fair condition. 

2. Good. 

3. Most are. 

4. Yes, I think so. 

Alfred D. Mason, INIemphis, Tenn. : 

1. Good. I believe they are doing good, faithful work. 

2. Yes. 


3. Yes, all that I know are. 

4. Yes, I am quite sure they are. 

W. W. Dexter, Houston, Tex., publisher : 

1. Very good. 

2. Yes, among better class; but the greater influence is "fear of the law." 

3. Many good ones ; but as a class are of questionable repute. 

4. Yes, possibly, on the whole. 

W. T. Jordan, Colorado : 

1. Fair. They average with the white churches. 

2. Yes. 

3. So far as I know. 

4. Yes. 

Rev. J. E. Ford, pastor of Zion Baptist Church, is president of the Denver Bap- 
tist Ministers' Conference, and is a first-class pastor, preacher and manager. Rev. 
Mr. Peck of the Methodist Episcopal Church is another minister of the same type. 
The Negro churches in the whole state are doing fully as well as the white 
churches, and many of them a great deal better. 

Rev. J. M. Filcher, Corresponding Secretary Baptist General Associa- 
tion of Virginia, Petersburg, Va. : 

1. Excellent. 

2. Yes. 
8. Yes. 

4. No. 

R. A. Morris, Austin, Tex. : 

1. Fair. 

2. In part. 

3. Some are. 

4. Not much. 

The most of them voted the anti-(Prohibitionist?) ticket which, I think, is bad. 

P. W. Meldrim, Savannah, Ga. : 

I answer all of the foregoing questions in the atfirmative, so far as a general 
answer may be given. To the first question I beg to say that it is too vague to 
enable me to reply. 

James B. Gregg, minister First Congregational Church, Colorado 
Springs, Col. : 

1. Very fair. 

2. Yes. 

3. Yes. 

4. I can't say very definitely. There has been of late years an influx of 
Negroes into our town and there are more signs of immorality among 
them than when that population was small. But the ministers are de- 
cidedly above the earlier ministers of that race here and that, I should 
say, indicates a higher tone in the Negro churches, if not in the Negro 
population, as a whole. 

R. B. Smith, County School Commissioner of Greene County, Wood- 
ville, Ga. : ' 

1. Not good. 

2. No. 


3. No. 

4. No. 

I have given you my candid opinion of such churches and ministers that I know. 
There are some exceptions to the above. 1. There is a Presbyterian Cliurch in 
Greensboro that has an intelligent pastor who is a good, true man. 2. I also think 
that the Methodist Church of same place is also doing pretty good work. A large 
portion of the ministers are ignorant and in some instances are bad men. I am 
truly sorry to have to write the above, but it is too true. 

W. J. Groom, Princeton, Ky. : 

1. Very slow, if any advancement. 

2. No. 

3. Very few. 

4. No. 

I regret to say, in my opinion, the Negro race has not advanced religiously, mor- 
ally or financially. They have some few commendable ministers, but the majority 
are immoral and dishonest. 

J. H. Icosh, Nashville, Tenn. : 

1. They are making advancement, slowly but surely. 

2. I think so. 

3. So far as I know. 

4. Yes. 

It is not easy to give satisfactory answers to such questions without going into 
detail. I have answered, as seems to me, in accordance with the facts in the case. 
But information given in this way is not sufficient to furnish a basis for an intel- 
ligent view. Am glad to work in any way to help the Negro brothers. 

James C. Stanley, Houston, Tex. : 

1. Upward tendency for education, morality, and nuitual advancement on 

American protective lines. 

3. All J know, yeis. 

4. Considerably. 

I have lived and been in newspaper business here for thirteen years. I have 
attaclied my answers to your questions above as to impressions made by expe- 
rience. The memberships of churches are larger, the number of churches more; 
the schools are having greater attendance and teachers are of higher education 
and practical plane than when I first came here. There are 100 to one in business 
also. The careless pull all to a common level in race prejudice. I know of none 
seeking social equality, but many educational and legal and property rights 

J. H. Kilpatrick, White Plains, Ga. : 

1. Lack of discipline and not harmonious. 

2. I think so. 

3. Some are and some are not. 

4. I think not. I see no decisive evidence of it. 

Geo. Wm. Walker, President Paine Colleue, Augusta, Ga. : 

1. A healthy spiritual condition. 

2. Yes. 


3. Yes. 

4. Yes. 

Prof. Burnell, Emerson Institute, Mobile, Ala. : 

1. Improving, as I believe. 

2. Yes. 

3. The majority are; many notably so. 

4. Yes. 

Geo. Standing, South Atlanta, Ga. : 

1. Their influence is, on the whole, good. 

2. The ministers are good men. 

3. The morality of the people generally is very good. 

Wm. N. Sheats,State Sui^erintendent Public Instruction, Tallahassee, 
Fla. : 

1. Buildings fair, some good, some neglected and some poor. The propor- 
tion of really pious members is about on average of white churches. 

2. Certainly, but like other churches, the black sheep are too numerous. 

3. Some are, and some are the greatest drawback to real piety and the spread 
of the gospel. 

4. Yes, I think so, but entirely too slow for their good and the good of all. 

John D. Jordan, Pastor First Baptist Church, Savannah, Ga. : 

1. Medium to good. 

2. Yes. 

3. Most of them ; I really know no exceptions. 
4 I think so. 

I take pleasure in sending favorable answers to all your questions. I wish w'ell 
for our Brother in Black. 

J. Reese Blair, Troy, N. C. : 

1. They are on the upgrade, but in need of better leaders. 

2. Good. 

3. Some not what they should be. 

4. I think so. 

In this county I consider the Negroes very much improved in the w^ork of their 
teachers and churches. 

J. W. Newman, Pastor Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Tallade- 
ga, Ala. : 

1. Fairly good. 

2. Yes. 

3. Generally. 
4 Yes. 

T. C. Moody, Marion, S. C. : 

1. Good. 

2. Yes. 

3. Yes. 

4. Very much. 

I hope the above answers will satisfy you, as they are the true condition of the 
churches here. The Negro race is improving in every way. 


J. W. Kein, Richmond, Va. : 

1. Good and membership increasing. 

2. Yes. 

3. They are. 

4. Yes. 

W. L. Tillman, Columbus, Ga. : 

1. They bring about idleness among the Negroes. 

2. No. 

3. Some may be. 

4. No, getting worse. 

In many churches are too many so-called preachers. They demoralize the 
Negroes and keep them from regular work by their constant preaching night and 
day, and require them to give up the last coin they have. Some of the preachers 
are very good, but a large portion of them are bad men. The Negroes morally are 
growing worse. 

W. G. Bradshaw, High Point, N. C. : 

1. Fairly good. 

2. Yes. 

3. Yes. 

4. Doubtful. 

E. H. Leidy, Memphis, Tenn. : 

1. Good. 

2. Yes. 

3. Yes. 

4. Yes. 

On the whole, I think our Negroes will compare with those of any section in 
this country. 

J. M. Collman, County School Commissioner, Putnam, Ga. : 

1. There are too many — about three churches to one school. Buildings gen- 
erally poor; creeds bitter against each other. Some churches established 
seemingly by local authority for "revenue only," the wandering priest 
dropping in and preaching and then a collection. 

2. Not as a whole, but in part. 

3. Some are, numbers are not. 

4. Yes, but much too slow. 

In my opinion, here, where the teachers are selected by the County Board of 
Education, they are doing more for the race than the preachers. They are far 
better educated and, as a whole, better men and women. 

Sam Smitherman, Troy, N. C. : 

1. They are, as a whole, bad. 

2. No. 

3. No. 

4. No. 

We have one good, honest and reliable Negro preacher in our community, and 
he is trying to raise the standard of living among his race. But he has an up-hill 
business to do so. The old Negroes, as a whole, are a long ways better than the 
young ones. The Negro preacher that I refer to is O. Faduma. Everyone that is 
acquainted with the Negro race knows that a Negro is better off without an edu- 


cation than he is with one, for when he has an education he beffins then to want 
to do some mischief. He will either go to preaching or stealing or both. Of course 
there are some better than others. 

John N. Rogers, Professor of Agriculture, Dahlonega, Ga. : 

A large majority of the church buildings have been much improved in the past 
five or six years. 

The good sutticiently dominates to warrant their encouragement. The majority 
are good men and exert an elevating influence on the people among whom they 
labor. A few are a disgrace to the church and to their race. 

In answer to question No. 4, I would say that there is quite a noticeable im- 
provement among the females, but among the males, young and old, thei'e is quite 
a lack of regard for a high standard of virtue, either among themselves or for the 
opposite sex with whom they associate. The average colored man does not regard 
it as anything against him to be seen in company with the lowest woman of his 
acquaintance. In my seven years experience as school superintendent of the 
county, I had only two complaints of immorality of female teachers. I had four 
or five of male teachers. 

The lowest state of morals is found on the large plantations where the houses 
throw the families in as close contact as is usually the case in cities. The greatest 
improvement is noted in families living on small farms (either rented or owned by 
them) where only one or two families live in close contact. 

J. G. CoUinsworth, Eatonton, Ga. : 

I do not believe any race with the same environments could have made more 
progress since their emancipation. They deserve great credit for what they have 
accomplished, intellectually and educationally. They have two churches in 
Eatonton that are good buildings and in fair repair. These churches have mar- 
velous influence for good. It is characteristic of the Negro to be scrupulous con- 
cerning his church vows. Their ministers, from external appearances, are capa- 
ble. God-fearing, consecrated men. 

J. J. Lawless, Richmond, Va. : 

We have in our town two colored churches and they are fairly well supported 
by their members. They are gaining in numbers and getting stronger financially 
from year to year. They have in them some members whose lives are such as to 
impress outsiders with the sincerity of their Christian professions, but unfortu- 
nately they allow members to remain in their churches who ought to be turned 
out, and thus cause reproach to fall upon the whole body. 

My opinion is that both of the Negro ministers in our town are good men. 

The President of the City National Bank, Austin, Tex. : 

I have deliberately delayed answering until now that I might more fully prepare 
myself to answer intelligently the several (juestions you ask me in your said favor 
of March 19th. What I write is principally the result of my own observation and 
reflection, but partly after conference with several intelligent colored and white 
men, in whose judgment and candor I have confidence. I will answer your ques- 
tions in the order in which they are asked. 

"1. What is the present condition of the Negro churches in your community ?" 
To this I answer, in the main the church buildings of this community are in 
every way reputable. They are principally rock or brick buildings, of good archi- 
tecture, and neatly, comfortably and tastily finished and furnished. As to the 
membership in the main it is clean and self-respecting. Most of the colored 


churches here are either out of debt or are paying their debts with reasonable 
promptness. Some of the colored churches are in debt and poorly administered, 
but as a rule the membership and physical condition and supervision of the Negro 
churches are good. 

"2. Is their influence, on the whole, towards pure, honest life?" In answer to 
this question I will say that, on the whole, their influence is decidedly towards 
pure and honest life. 

"3. Are the Negro ministers in your community good men ?" To this I will say 
that, in the main, they are, but some of them are very sorry men. They are dead- 
beats, and have no regard for their word nor for their obligations, and they are 
low in their moral instincts and acts. They have neither regard for truth nor 
honesty. They are particularly unscrupulous in politics. But speaking of this 
community, I sincerely believe that this character of colored preachers is de- 
creasing. They are greatly better men, and more intelligent men than they were 
ten or twenty years ago. Speaking of this community, again, I should say that 
the unworthy colored ministers are rather the exception than the rule, and I think 
I know what I am talking about. 

"4. Are the standards of Negro morality being raised ?" To this I will say that, 
in my opinion, they certainly are. I think there is a higher standard of morality 
amongst colored men as well as colored women. 

A Real Estate Agent, Florence, H. C. : 

The Methodist Episcopal Church, North, and the Baptist Church : these churches 
were well attended, and one reason was that the ministers were their political 
leaders. Of late years a good many men who have learned to read and write have 
been going about preaching, some I know of no character. The consequence has 
been that many new congregations have been started, and although not large, the 
tendency has been to do more harm than good. These Negro ministers (so- 
called) are too lazy to work, and make their money in an easy way, principally from 
the most ignorant Negro women. At present, I think the Negro ministers at the 
established Methodist Episcopal Church, North, the African Methodist Episcopal 
Church and Baptist ('hurch are very good men; have not heard anything against 
their characters. But my opinion is that for real religious training of the Negro the 
Episcopal Church and Roman Catholic Church would be the best for the Negro, 
the first named from the example and training, and the latter the confession they 
would have to make tothe priest — the latter more from fear. My opinion, again, 
is that the Negroes are more immoral, as they read and know what has been done 
and is being done by the immoral, unreligious white men of the country, and I 
believe that the example set by the white men of low character has been the 
greatest cause for the immorality of the Negro. Take for example that crime of 
rape. I don't know of a section where the whites are refined, nice people and treat 
the Negroes nicely, but let them know their places, where such an attempt has 
occurred. How can you expect the Negro women to be virtuous when the white 
men will continue to have intercourse with them? How can you blame the Negroes 
for committing murder when the example is set thein by the white man? 

We must face the truth. If any dirty work is to be done a white man hires a 
Negro to do it for him. If a member of a church does not wish to be seen going 
to buy whisky he sends a Negro. If these are facts, what an example to set to an 
inferior race ! And they are facts and a shame on our white race. It seems to me 
that the Negroes are more immoral here than they used to be and the fault is due 
mostly to the example set them by the white men. 


A. C. Kaufman, Charleston, S. C. : 

1. There are a number of Negro churches in Charleston that are prospering. 
The great trouble, I apprehend, is in the multiplicity of churches with the colored 
as the whites. In my judgment, a church should not be established until there is 
actual need for it. 

2. This is a ditticult ([uestion for me to answer, but as far as I know their influ- 
ence is for the betterment of the race. 

3. I believe that the Negro ministers here are generally good men. I have no 
reason to state to the contrary. 

4. The standard of Negro morality I am sure is being raised. The young men 
and women, under proper environments, are being raised along these lines. In 
the lower strata of society things may be different. 

H. M. Willcox, Willcox Harthvare Co., Marion, S. C. : 

Your letter received. In answer to your questions will state : 

1. That the Negro churches are in good condition here. 

2. That the moral and religious trend is upward. 

3. That the present colored ministers are above the average in every way, both 
in relation to intelligence and as to morals. I have had business with them all, 
and the present incumbents seem to be a very reputable set of men. I will state 
that several who preceded them in the last ten years cast a moral blight by their 
lives while here upon their church community. 

4. I think we have a very good class of colored people and that from a moral 
standpoint they are improving. 

J. E. Woodcox, High Point, N. C. : 

Replying to your favor of 22d, beg to say that the condition of the Negi-o 
churches in this community, in my opinion, is improving. 

The influence of their churches is much better than formerly, with less sectarian- 

We have some Negro ministers in our town who are splendid, good men. 

The standard of morality among the Negroes here is much better than formerly. 
The fact is, I have often remarked, that High Point is blessed with the best Negro 
population of any place I have seen in my life. Many of them own their own 
homes and have some credit and standing in the community. 

A. E. Owen, Portsmouth, Va. : 

1. The present condition of the Negro churches in this community is fairly good. 

2. I do not hesitate to say that the influence of nearly all the Negro churches is 
toward a purer, honest life. Of course in many instances their teaching is above 
their practice. 

3. The Negro preachers are fairly good men. Sometimes some suspicions rest 
upon them. 

4. I am sure that the standards of morality, especially among the church mem- 
bers, are being raised. 

The Negroes are doing well. I think if people who speak and write about Negroes 
would keep in mind the fact that Negroes are Negroes, it would keep them from 
being led astray. Negroes are religious, and many of them are faithful church 
members. Negroes should not be compared with the best conditions of the white 
race. But still the Negroes are improving. They are getting clearer ideas of 
purity and honesty, and I believe the Negro race, as Negroes, will rise to a higher 
plane of religion and integrity. 


J. R. Peppers, Memphis, Tenn. : 

1. The Negro churches in Memphis, so far as the buildings are concerned, are 
considerably better than five or ten years ago, which shows that more attention is 
being given to the houses of worship used by them, and their gifts are liberal. 

2. My observation is that their influence is toward pure and honest lives and 
I think the pastors of the churches, as a rule, strive towards this end. 

3. So far as I know the ministers in our community are good men. I know of 
no irregularities at present among them. 

4. I think the standards of morality among the Negroes are being raised, 
though, of course, in no such degree as their friends would be glad to see. 

W. H. Banks, Merchant, Hartsboro, Ala. : 

In answer to your first question, will say that their houses of worship are not 
in very good condition. They are manifesting some spirit of improvement in 
this respect however, and have done what they could to improve their church 
buildings. The religious life of their churches is not of a high order. They are 
emotional and demonstrative and, I feel sure, are generally sincere. Many of them 
are really religious people, but they have standards of their own, and they are low 
standards. For instance, the average Negro Christian would consider it a grievous 
sin to play the "fiddle" or dance, but would regard it as a small offense to drink 
too much whiskey or to cover up a theft committed by some one of his race, or 
to do many other things that you would regard as grave violations of the moral 

Question 2. I hope so. Progress in this direction is slow, and tiie Negro is not 
wholly to blame. Public sentiment among his own race and among his white 
neighbors, and the non-enforcement of law against inchastity, are great hindrances 
to his progress toward pure living. The laws against bigamy, seduction and adult- 
ery, are a dead letter so far as the Negro is concerned. The Negroes' religion 
does act more as a restraint upon them in their business dealings. Many of them 
pay their debts and meet their financial obligations well. In these respects the 
Negro has the support and stimulus of law and public sentiment. 

Question 3. A few of them are, I think, but many of them I am afraid are not. 

Question 4. In some respects I am sure that they are, and in all respects I hope 
there is some improvement. 

Wm. Hayne Leavell, Mniister, Houston, Tex. : 

I am sorry to have to answer you that since coming to Texas I have not been 
able to know anything of the Negroes or their churches. Out here they seem to 
be a very different sort from those among whom I was brought up, and in whom I 
have always been interested, and by whom always been well received. Here they 
are altogether to themselves, and I do not think I know personally a solitary 
Negro minister. It is true I have for ten years been a man busily driven, but 
the one or two attempts I have made to help the Negroes have not encouraged 
me to try again. I know only that there are very many church organizations of 
the various denominations, but of their quality I know nothing. 

W. J. Neel, Attorney at Law, Rome, Ga. : 

I doubt if I am sufficiently informed on this subject to give you any definite 
or satisfactory information. It is a matter in which I am interested and I 
occasionally attend service at Negro churches, but I cannot say that I have 
information sufficient to meet your inquiry. However, I will undertake to answer 
the four questions submitted by you in their order. 


1. As to the present condition of the Negro churches in Rome : It does not seem 
to me to be quite satisfactory. It has not been long since there was a serious 
split in the leading colored Baptist Church of Rome, resulting from differences 
between the pastor and a majority of his congregation ; and within the recent 
past one of the leading colored Methodist Churches in this city was greatly dis- 
turbed on account of the conduct of its pastor, who was charged with misap- 
propriating church funds. It resulted in an indictment and prosecution in the 
courts. So I cannot think the condition of the Negro churches here is wliat it 
should be. 

2. To this question I would answer: Yes, but with a mental reservation as to 
individual instances. 

3. For the most part, I believe the Negro ministers in our community are 
fairly good men but there are exceptions, and the exceptions are rather too 
numerous to be reassuring. Some of our Negro preachers, especially those of the 
cheaper sort, are too much inclined to drift into local politics, which seems to 
be always more or less corrupting and to leave a stain on their good name. A 
Negro-preacher-politic-hoss is not a very wholesome or helpful citizen in any 
community. But, happily, I believe his shadow is growing less. 

4. To your fourth question, as to the standards of Negro morality, I would ans- 
wer: Yes and no. In individual instances, I believe Negi-o men and women 
are rising in the moral scale and setting their faces firmly and hopefully to bet- 
ter things; but, if I am to be entirely candid, I will be compelled to say that 
the standards of morality among the Negroes in this section, and especially 
among the younger generation, do not seem to be rising. I regret to have to 
admit that the tendency appears to be in the other direction. I wish it were 
not so. The Negro is in the South, as I believe, to stay, and we of tlie South 
are mightily interested in his elevation and betterment as a citizen. He is here 
either to hinder or to help in the general progress and prosperity of our country, 
and his progress, up or down, necessarily affec s us all. 

A White Layman, Cuckoo, Va. : 

In most of the churches the membership is very large, but, on a whole, I think 
they have very little conception of what true religion is. I think a number are 
trying to lead honest lives, but the luajority do not know the meaning of true 

I think some of the ministers are by no means what preachers ought to be. 
I think a few are trying to do the best they can. I have attended the church 
nearest me occasionally and I regard the pastor as a man of ability and fine 
character and calculated to do much good. I wish I could say this for them all. 

Answer 4. I am afraid not. 

Clarence Cusley, Houston, Tex.: 

1. The present condition of Negro churches in this state is altogether encour- 
aging, though there is vast room for improvement in the character and educa- 
tion of many of the preachers. 

2. Their influence, on the whole, is toward a better life, but the preaching is 
still too much emotional and too little addressed to the practical problems of 

3. Of the Negro mi)iisters of my acquaintance many are earnest and godly 
men, some are ignorant, and a few I fear are insincere. 

4. The standards of Negro morality are being raised in many respects and 
being lowered in others. Among the more intelligent class, there is decidedly a 


tendency toward purer domestic life. Many Negroes whom I know I believe to 
be thoroughly virtuous and honest. On the other hand, among the less intelli- 
gent class there is a very dangerous, not to say fatal, drift towards the worst forms 
of domestic vice. 

On the whole, I believe that on this account the race is not multiplying at a 
normal rate. 

A. J. INIcKehvay, Editor, Charlotte, N. C. : 

I am interested in the welfare of the Negro race, and know somewhat of their 
churches. The Presbyterian Churches in Charlotte, and Mecklenburg county, I 
commend most highly, not because I am a Presbyterian, but Charlotte is located 
in a Presbyterian section, and the old families were largely Presbyterian, and 
the best Negro stock is the same. Biddle University, near by, is a helpful influence, 
too. in training educated ministers. I can also commend the Congregational 
Church here, but the Methodist Episcopal and Baptist Churches are the average 
emotional congregations, with but little connection between morality and religion. 
Some ministers among them are good men, some are not. I think the standard 
of Negro morality is being raised; that is, the standard to which the best are 
trying to attain; at the same time there is a great tendency in the other direc- 
tion among the worst element. 

Rev. G. Lyle Smith, Paris, Tex. : 

1. A considerable majority of adult Negroes are church members, a fair con- 
dition of peace prevails in the congregations, but denominational prejudices and 
wranglings are too frequent and violent, and a petty contentiousness is too com- 
mon in individual organizations. 

2. Yet, all in all, it may be said truly that their influence, on the whole, is 
toward a good, pure, honest Christian life. 

3. Yes, with comparatively rare exceptions, the Negro preachers are good men 
so far as known to me. They certainly get into serious trouble far more frequently 
than white ministers, yet the general statement would stand that Negro preachers 
are good men. 

4. Yes, it is manifest that the standards of morality are being steadily raised, 
especially if we take into view any considerable period of time. Advancement is 
as rapid as could reasonably be expected, all things considered. 

E. C. jVIoncnre, Judge County Court, Bowling Green, Va. 

First, I have great sympathy with the Negro race and my opinion if anything, 
I fear, will be a little biased in their favor. 

The Negro seems to be naturally a very religious person, full of emotion and 
human sympathy, mixed up with some superstition and suspicion. 

The Negroes are devoted to their churches and will undergo many privations to 
contribute to church building. They have great pride in their churches, and to 
be turned out of church is the most humiliating condition in their minds. A Negro 
convicted of larceny will suffer under the burden of his humiliation from being 
"turned out of the church" much more than from his disgrace of criminal con- 
viction. Of course that remark does not apply to those who are the leaders of the 
church. Twenty-five years ago the Negro churches were controlled by much infe- 
rior men than to-day. The Negro churches in any community of to-day are quite 
well organized, with well-attended Sunday-schools, and are progressing. They 
have an over-zeal in building church houses, and are striving to emulate the white 
people in having good and neat houses. Their church discipline is rather loose. 


This, in a measure, comes from the great numher of unconverted pei'sons in their 
churches, for all Negroes must belong to the church; and a great many of their 
preachers are not educated and not of the highest character, so that they are not 
particular enough in receiving candidates into their communion. But, in my 
opinion, the Negroes are gradually improving along many lines. The trouble is 
with us white people, who, setting a judgment on their progress, expect and demand 
too much in a small space of time. But the influence toward pure, honest lives, 
upon the whole, is good ; that is, the preponderating influence. 

Of the colored registered vote lately voting on local option in my county, the 
abridged electorate, consisting principally of the educated and owners of property, 
nearly as a unit voted against whiskey. 

Not all of the Negro ministers of my community are good men. In the main, 
they are, but some are ignorant and superstitious. But with all this, I am clearly 
of the opinion that the standards of Negro morality are being slowly and gradually 

To sum up, I do not think that Negro education and evangelization are 
failures by any means. In my acquaintance there are some noble examples of 
progress, faithfulness and devotion to principle. 

C. C. Brown, Pastor, Sumter, S. C. : 

1. One of the four Negro churches in Sumter is doing a good work. I seriously 
question whether the other three are accomplishing much. They suffer from 
poor leadership and from having too many preachers, who are always hanging 
around, seeking a pulpit in which they can preach. 

2. I think the tendency is towards a better and more honest life. Too many 
supposed converts go into their churches upon the basis of emotion, and hence 
vital religion is to a large extent wanting. 

3. Two Negro preachers here are unfit for their high place ; four others are good 
and honest men, as far as I have had an opportunity to judge them. 

4. Yes, among a certain class of Negroe.?. Good Negroes are getting better, and 
evil Negroes are getting worse. The great vice is adultery, which is winked at in 
many cases, and the social atmosphere can never be clarified until the harlot is no 
longer given a recognition by those whose lives are clean. The Negro needs les- 
sons about home life far more than he does lessons about church life. The fact 
that Negroes have little or no confidence in each other lies at the bottom of many 
evils. This lack of confidence is general, and even the preacher has to contend 
against it. It weakens his power as a preacher and takes all authority away from 
his preaching and teaching. 

But, on the whole, I am inclined to believe the Negroes are making strides 
towards a better condition. I am willing to be patient and live in hope. I am 
also willing to condone some existing evils, and to charge these things to the long 
years of history which lie in the past. 

Edward 8. Elliott, Savannali, Ga. : 

1. The present condition of the Negro churches in this community is, on the 
whole, improving. 

2. The influence, on the whole, is towards pure and honest life. 

.3. In my judgment, some of the Negro ministers in this community are good 
men and some are not. 

4. The standards of Negro morality are being raised very slowly and among some. 

I regret that I have not been able to give this matter a careful investigation, and 
the above opinion is expressed merely from casual observation. 


Rev. J. T. Pluuket, D. D., Augusta, Ga. : 

1. I am not fully advised, but from all that I can hear or see I think, in the 
main, the present condition of the Negro churches here is very good. 

2. I think the influence of the Negro churches is, on the whole, good and help- 
ful toward purity and honesty of life. 

3. So far as I have hoard with few exceptions. 

4. The moral improvement of any race must necessarily be gradual and slow. 
A fair judgment upon such an issue can only be made from broad and dispas- 
sionate observation rather than from a too narrow and prejudiced view. My 
judgment is that the racial standard of morality is being raised. 

34. The Moral Status of Negroes. As to the mass of Negroes in the 
United States there is much confusion of evidence as to their moral con- 
dition. This is perfectly natural. Many of them are suffering from the 
effects of well-known tendencies to decadence of the second gener- 
ation; at the same time their economic and educational advance is 
undoubted. What has been the restiltant? Two answers are usually given 
to this question. One declares that the advance has been great and 
uniform in all moral relationships; the other answer is typified by the 
assertions of men like Thomas* that the Negro race is thoroughly cor- 
rupt and that "soberly speaking, Negro nature is so craven and sen- 
suous in every fiber of its being that a Negro manhood, with decent 
respect for chaste womanhood, does not exist." For the purpose of 
getting some valuable opinions on these points and especially on 
Thomas's assertions, a committee of the Hampton Conference, in 1901, 
under the chairmanship of tlie Rev. Francis J. Grimke of the Fifteenth 
Street Presbyterian Church, Washington, I). C, made an investigation, 
a jmrt of the results of which are here printed: 

With a view of reaching those who were best qualified to give the desired 
information, the committee sent out to the American Missionary Association, the 
Presbyterian Board of Missions for Freedmen. the American Baptist Home Mission 
Society, the Home Mission Board of the National Baptist Convention, the Freed- 
man's Aid and Southern Education Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
and to many individuals of prominence in all the denominations, the following 
request : 

'"Will you be kind enough to send us a list of the teachers and preachers of your 
denomination laboring among the colored people in the South whose opinion 
touching their moral condition would carry most weight ?" 

The list of names thus secured was also supplemented by consultation with 
others who were in a condition to know, and also by consulting the History of the 
Medical Department of Howard University, recently published, which contains 
a list of all of its graduates. 

We sent out in all nearly a thousand circulars. These were sent to teachers, 
preachers, lawyers, physicians and business men, both white and colored, located 
in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, 
Flcida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, Arkansas, 

* \V. H. Thomas : The American Negro. 


Kansas, Missouri, the District of Columbia, and also in some of the Middle and 
Eastern states. Of the replies received only two agree wholly with Mr. Thomas. 
One Southern white man writes from Atlanta : 

Your circular letter received and in reply to your request as to whetlier, as far 
as my knowledge extends, the statements copied from the AmeHcan Negro are true 
or not, I beg leave to say they are true. 

The other is from a Northern white woman, who has lived for some time in the 
South, and who has been working among the colored people for a number of years, 
some dozen or more years in her present locality. She writes : 

Your circular received as I am leaving for Denver. I have labored among the col- 
ored people for nearly twenty-two years in South Carolina and Tennessee. It is 
with sincere sorrow that I have to admit that those statements are true and cor- 
rectly represent the present condition of the race. 

Miss Sarah A. Collins, 110 East Center street, Baltimore, Md., writes: 

Replying to you out of an experience of eighteen years among the humbler classes 
of the race I have not, by observation, found those statements'true. Human weak- 
ness, under the unfavorable conditions of poverty and ignorance, has furnished 
examples of moral downfall, I must admit, but I have never considered them 
peculiarly racial nor have I noted any such downfall that has not had an offset 
under conditions equally unfavorable of noble, chaste womanhood. 

Among the cultivated class my observation has had a more limited area, but 
those with whom it has been my good fortune to come in close contact have furn- 
ished some of the most beautiful examples of dignified, unsj^otted womanhood, 
whose lives might be read, page by page, without revealing one spot or blur. I 
have known, and do know, of homes among both the cultivated and ignorant 
whose sanctity is unbroken and whose atmosphere is as pure as true manhood, 
faithful womanhood, and innocent, happy childhood can make it. 

Miss Nannie E. Grooms, 523 West Lanvale street, Baltimore, Md., writes : 

My work in a large city has covered a period of nearly fourteen years. Thousands 
of girls have passed under my observation, many of them have already begun 
their careers, several are teachers in the Baltimore city school system, and are 
doing their part in life. The home life of all these individuals was not of the 
best kind, but with this much to be deplored in their condition I believe the per 
cent, of immorality to be low. 

At this writing, my work is in a veritable slum. Degradation of every kind is 
rampant. In the next block above us houses of ill fame line both sides of the 
street. The occupants of these jjlaces are white. In a street parallel to this are 
houses occupied by both white and colored. Many of our children come from 
these places. The greatest per cent, of degradation I have ever witnessed exists 
here. What the harvest shall be only Providence knows; but taken all in all, I 
believe that 8 per cent, would cover the mathematical reckoning as far as figures 
may be taken indicative of conditions of society. 

I believe the statements made in the American Negro are false. William Hanni- 
bal Thomas must have spent his time entirely among the degraded, depraved and 

Dr. Lucy E. Moten, Principal of the Normal School, Washington, D. C, writes: 

I have had eighteen years' experience, with the closest observation, with girls of 
the race, average age eighteen, graduating not less than 400, and I am proud to say 
that not one, so far as I know, has in any wise cast a shadow upon her Alma 

The Rev. Owen Waller, Washington, D. C, writes : 

I was bred in England, during my most impressionable years, among the sturdy, 
moral, upper middle class, and now after ten years' work among the colored peo- 
ple, I can truly say that, class for class, circumstances compared, except for differ- 
ences of complexion, one would not realize the change, certainly not in conduct 
and morals. One is especially impressed with the real modesty of the colored 
woman, and how she can be ingenuously assailed in this respect is both absolutely 
and relatively inexplicable. 


Dr. H. B. Frissell, the Princijjal of the Hampton Normal and Industrial Insti- 
tute, Hampton, Va., writes : 

I have had an experience of twenty-one years with colorevl people, during^ which 
time I have been intimately acquainted with a large number of them at Hampton 
Institute. I have gone into their homes and have had perhaps as much oppor- 
tunity as most any white man for knowing intimately their life. 

I am glad to bear witness to my knowledge of the clean, pure lives of a large 
number whom I have known. I have often said, what I believe to be true, that it 
would be hard to find in any white institution in the North the freedom from 
low talk and impure life as is to be found at Hampton, where 1,000 young people of 
two races are brought together. The colored race is not degraded. Many of the 
young people who came to me years ago had no conception of the wrong of certain 
lines of conduct and who, since they have gained that knowledge, have lived up 
to what they know. I have seen young people coming from one-room cabins, 
where morality seems well nigh impossible, who sloughed that old life, and have 
made good use of the cleared knowledge which they have gained at Hampton. 

I have often said that my own boy would be less likely to hear low talk here than 
in most Northern institutions for the whites. My own judgment in the matter is 
confirmed in the experience of others. For a number of weeks an English gentle- 
man, who is making a most careful study of the race, has been staying at the 
school. He has mingled with the boys in their play, in their workshops and in 
their dormitories, and he confirms my impression and that of my disciplinarian, 
who himself is a colored man, living in close contact with the young people of the 

I have seen in my years of work in the South a steady improvement in the whole 
community in which I live. The standards are being raised, and there is a 
marked improvement in the matter of purity of life. 

The President of the State Normal School, Petersburg, Ya., writes: 

We have graduated 106 girls from our Seminary and following the lives of these 
graduates with careful and constant interest, we have known of only one who 
has gone astray. 

Mr. W. McKirahan, Principal of Norfolk Mission College, Norfolk, Va., writes: 

I have been laboring among the colored peojile for five years. The roll of our 
school carries about 700 names yearly, about 450 of these being girls. To my knowl- 
edge about five or six go astray yearly, or about one in each hundred. 

Mrs. Orra Langhorne, a Southern white woman, 710 Church street, Lynchburg, 
Va., writes: 

I was born among colored people, have always been surrounded by them and 
believe this man Thomas grossly exaggerates the actual conditions. It was the 
most sorrowful part of slavery that there could be no legal marriage for the slaves, 
no protection for the virtue of women. Even now there are no laws to protect 
the colored girl, such as have always existed for her white sisters. In discuss- 
ing any question that relates to the Negroes, regard should be given to the rapid 
formation of classes among them. There is a respectable class, and this class is 
increasing, where married parents live virtuous lives, guard the sanctity of their 
homes, and strive to bring up their children in the ])ath of virtue. I go among 
the colored people of all classes and see many signs of encouragement. We 
must all work and hope for the elevation of the race, and prove to the world 
the falsity of Thomas's cruel and odious book. 

Rev. D. Webster Davis, colored, of Richmond, Va., writes: 

I recall ten cases coming under my personal observation where mothers, living 
in vice, have put their children in boarding schools. Catholic homes, and in 
good families, when they could succeed in doing so, and these girls in most cases 
have been reared without having visited their mothers' homes since babyhood. 
In fact, it is the rule rather than the exception that mothers, leading lives of shame, 
do all in their power to prevent their children leading the same lives. 

Dr. Charles F. Meserve, white, President of Shaw University, Raleigh, N. C, 


I believe that there are in every community large numbers of colored women 
that are as chaste and pure as can be found in communities made up of other 

I believe that a large percentage of colored boys and girls over fifteen years of 
asre, who have been properly trained, are clean and pure. 

1 have found, as a rule, that Negro fathers and mothers are more than anxious 
that their offspring should lead pure lives. Whatever truth there is in this state- 
ment can apply only to the degraded tenth. 

I have spent over seven years in educational work among the colored people of 
the South, have seen them in school and at home, and in practically all of the 
Southern states. When I consider that they have come from 2^)0 years of enforced 
slavery, with all the degradation and darkness that this means, the wonder to me 
is that there is such a large number of pure, refined, industrious, intelligent men 
and women as there is. There is, as every one knows, a dark picture, but it is only 
what is to be expected. It is a picture that is growing brighter year by year, and 
although there are discouragements and obstacles, from time to time, that come up, 
on the whole, the race is making substantial and remarkable progress, and the 
outlook ought to be considered by all careful observers and lovers of the human 
race as hopeful and encouraging. 

Dr. D. J. Satterfield, white, President of Scotia Seminary, Concord, X. C, 
writes : 

When a Southern white man told my predecessor that all Negro women were 
impure his reply was, "1 suppose you know, I don't." I huve seen Negro women 
who I have good reason to believe are living virtuous lives under conditions of 
trial such as bur virtuous white women as a class know nothing about. Through 
my sainted wife I know of examples of colored women whose firmness in resisting 
temptation makes them worthy to represent any race. 

Of those same women I can speak without reserve on all these points. Their 
modesty and genuine worth are conceded by white, as well as colored ; their marital 
fidelity is above question. Many of them have passed through the stage of cotirt- 
ship and entered married life under my own personal observation, and even the 
most fastidious could find nothing but what was proper and pure. We have Negro 
women around us here who are for duty's sake remaining single, though sought by 
the very best of our young men. 

One of the most touching things to come under my notice has been the many 
mothers who come to beg us to take their girls, saying. I know I am not what I 
ought to be, but I don't want her to be like nie. We'could fill Scotia over and over 
again every year with girls whose parents want them in a safe place, so that they 
may grow into good women. In these nearly fifteen years we have not had the 
basis of a scandal involving a member of this school inside of our grounds, and 
we believe that our record" as a school, both for honesty and purity, will bear 
comparison with the female schools generally. 

It would not be wise however in our zeal to refute the false assertions in Mr. 
Thomas's book to overlook the fact that many of them are in a measure true. We 
cannot do our duty to the Negro while we keep ourselves ignorant of his true con- 
dition, and no Thomas or any other man can overdraw the picture of the morals 
of the uncared for masses of the Negro in the South, not because they are Negroes, 
but because they are uncared for. 

Prof. George A. Woodard, Principal of Gregory Normal Institute, Wilmington, N. 
C, writes : 

I have been laboring among the colored race for sixteen years, and we have had 
three hundred colored youth in our Institution yearly. I cannot be made to think 
that the majority of them are devoid of morality. We would not keep a pupil 
in school known to be unchaste. The expulsions for this cause have not averaged 
one case per year. 

Rev. A. B. Hunter of St. Augustine's School, Pvaleigh, N. C, writes: 

I have no doubt that W. H. Thomas's picture is an overstatement and exaggera- 
tion of the facts, but the facts are such as to stimulate us all to secure a betterment. 

Thirteen years' work here has convinced me of the truth of Prof. DuBois's state- 
ment (College-bred Negroes, page 57) that "without doubt the greatest social prob- 
lem of the American Negro at present is sexual purity, and the solving of this prob- 
lem lies peculiarly upon the homes established among them." 


Dr. L. M. Dunton, white, President of Claflin University, Orangeburg, S. C, 
writes : 

In reply to your circular letter permit me to say that I have read W. H. Thomas's 
book on "The American Negro". I have labored for nearly thirty years among 
the colored people of South Carolina, and I believe that Mr. Thomas is either 
w'holly unac(iuainted with the Negro or else he has deliberately undertaken to get 
up a sensation, and possibly a market for his book, by the wholesale denunciation 
or the race. His statements cannot possibly be true. 

Rev. A. C. Osborn, President of Benedict College, Columbia, 8. C, writes: 

I have been president of this college for six years, with hundreds of girls under 
my care, and 1 have not the remotest reason to believe or even to suspect that a 
single girl connected with this school has committed an act of immoralty or has 
led either before coming here or while here, or afterwards, other than a virtuous 

Rev. Thomas H. Amos, D. D., Principal of Ferguson Academy, Abbeville, S. C, 

The statement with respect to Negro virtue cannot be true. We have 113 boys 
and girls in our boarding department. They range in age from fourteen to thir- 
ty years, and never have we known of any indecent conduct on the part of either 
sex toward the other. I frequently inspect the walls and fences that are marked 
in crayon or pencil and not more than twice have I seen in eight years any writing 
or drawing oi an indecent nature. Our young men once thrashed a boy at their 
building for introducing some reference to a girl's character, and when I asked 
them about their conduct, said that they had only one rule in the whole buildine:. It 
was that no one should speak of the school-girls slightingly, and whoever did so 
should be first, thrashed, second, reported to the faculty, and thirdly, expelled from, 
the building. The facts I have in liaiid release 75 per cent, of Negro women from 
most of what Mr. Thomas says. At least 50 per cent, live above the slightest sus- 
picion, and I think it fair to say 50 per cent, of those who are suspicioned are not 

Miss Ellen Murray, of St. Helena Island, near Beaufort, S. C, one of the noblest 
of w^hite Christian women from the North who have consecrated their lives to the 
upbuilding of this race, writes: 

I have been for nearly forty years the Principal of the Penn School, Superinten- 
dent of a Sunday-school, President of a Temperance Society, Leader of a Woman's 
Meeting among the Negroes of St. Helena Island, on the southern coast of South 
Carolina. There are 0,000 Negroes on the island, who were called the lowest of all 
the Negroes, and incapable of improvement. 

In our school of 270 there are at least 100 young people from fifteen to twenty-two 
and they are living lives as pure as any white people, however high or refined. The 
age at which they marry has, since freedom, changed from fifteen to eighteen, on 
an average. After marriage, the rule is fidelity. I scarcely know a case in which 
the wife is unfaithful, and the more educated and intelligent the men grow, the 
more moral they become. I have talked with numbers of teachers from many of 
the colored schools of the freed people, and I do not believe that any such state of 
things as Thomas asserts can be found in them. It would be impossible. There 
are on this island 6,000 Negroes, thirty whites, one constable, one justice, and such 
a thing as an attack on a white woman has not been known in all these forty years. 

The mothers have steadily grown more and more careful of their daughters, pro- 
viding for them a separate room, seeing tliat they are not out late in the evening; 
the churches are stricter on the matter; fathers are sterner with their sons. I do 
not claim that they are perfect. They were treated as brutes by their owners, who 
counted on their increase, as a Negro woman said to me bitterly, "just like we count 
for our chickens." Girls and women were alike forced into sin by the whip. In 
the two-roomed huts where three or four families crowded, there was no chance 
for modesty or decency. Hampered by heredity, burdened with poverty and 
contempt, and vexatious laws to oppose them, with many a stumble and many a 
fall, they are, nevertheless, pressing up, longing for learning, desirous of respecta- 
bility, taking with eager gratitude all the help they can get. I wish those who 
talk of the Negro deteriorating could see, in contrast with the tloorless huts of 


slavery, the homes of these people here. Five rooms, floors with rugs, papered 
walls, chairs, lounge, lamp, sewing machine, dresser with its china, table set with 
a white cloth and dishes, beds with white spreads and mosquito nets, plain indeed, 
cheap indeed, but comfortable and paid for. 

Miss Mary L. Deas, S3 Morris street, Charleston, S. C, a teacher in the Avery 
Institute of that city, writes : 

I think I may safely say that I am well acquainted with the school system of 
South Caroli na. My work for the past fourteen years has been in one of the best known 
of the schools. I know nearly all of the educators of the colored people of the 
state, but I do not know one who would knowingly allow a girl sustaining immoral 
relations with any man to remain in the school, much less to have him pay her 
expenses. White men pay the tuition of many students, but these students are 
their children, not their mistresses, and many of these girls grow up honorable 
and pure women, in spite of their home surroundings. The lessons of chastity 
taught them in the schools bear fruit in their lives. Avery Institute, where I 
teach, has over '300 graduates, but not one of whom is living a dissolute life. Dur- 
ing the past fourteen years there has been but one case of immorality known to 
the school authorities. The girl was expelled. All the schools of which I know 
anything make for purer lives. 

Conditions are bad enough, but 90 per cent, is far too large an estimate for the 
immoral class. Fearing that my position would cause me to have too optimistic 
views, my associates being women pure in word and deed, I consulted two men 
whose business brings them in contact with all classes. They both said that even 
50 per cent, was too large for the vicious of this city. The large class of people 
who move in good society here regard chastity in women as one of the essentials. 
The women who have been proven guilty of a fall from sexual virtue are dropped 
by their former friends. The men of this class show their respect for pure women 
by seeking them for wives, and by guarding their sisters whenever possible. It is 
true that fallen women sometimes marry, but they nearly always marry below 
their rank. 

Miss Harriet E. Giles, white. President of Spelman Seminary, of Atlanta, Ga., 
writes : 

I have been laboring among the colored people for more than twenty years. I 
am sure there is a steadily growing sentiment against immorality. 1 think of 
the girls who have been trained in Christian schools at least 9.3 percent, live moral 
lives. By this, I mean those who have remained in the schools for several years. 

Mr. Fred W. Foster, white. Principal of Dorchester Academy, Mcintosh, Ga., 
writes : 

There are thousands of Negroes who would fight to the death to preserve the 
purity of their own women or that of white women deserving their respect. 

No doubt there are educated Negroes who "presume to be refined" who are licen- 
tious, but to say that education and refinement are no barriers against this evil, 
that there is no refined class of colored people who maintain their marriage vows 
unspotted, is too far-reaching and glaring a misstatement to go unchallenged. 

I have lived and worked among the colored people twelve years, during which 
time I have tried to get as fair and just an idea of the average Negro character as 
possible, as well as to learn that which is best; and I have had opportunities of 
seeing and knowing somewhat of the worst side. 

The Negro is the product of generations of entire freedom from restraint, to 
which has been added the effects of the unrestrained lust of a stronger race; but 
despite these things there are multitudes of the colored race in America whose 
lives are as pure, whose regard for the marriage vow as great, and "whose respect 
for chaste womanhood" as strong as of any other race in our land. 

Miss Lucy C. Laney, Principal of Haines Institute, Augusta, Ga., writes: 

I have been interested a number of years in noting, as I have passed through the 
country, to find what a large number of Negroes are true, and have been true, to 
their marriage vows. It is not an unusual thing to find those who have lived 
faithfully together for fifty, sixty and sixty-five years. Those of us who have 
worked for twenty years among the colored people note marked improvement. 


Nothing cheers our hearts more than to see the large number of fathers who come 
and enter their children in school, make constant inquiry as to their progress, 
and who, accompanied by their wives and children, attend the public exercises of 
the school. This interest is real; they want to know the moral status of their 
children, they labor for and desire the best for their children, children of one wife. 
In our kindergarten of forty-five children there were only three illegitimate chil- 

T. DeS. Tucker, President of Florida State Normal and Industrial College, Talla- 
hassee, Fla., writes : 

I have been engaged for nearly thirty-five years, more or less, in duties which 
have brought me in close contact with our people in every walk of life. When the 
depths of depravity from which they emerged are taken into consideration the 
marvel of their advance in morals is simply phenomenal. Specimens of pure 
womanhood and exalted manhood are to be found among the race to-day in every 
village and hamlet in the land. While we have much to struggle for in genera- 
tions to come, the assertion may be safely ventured that in the light of our past 
attainments in virtue, our future is safely assured. 

Rev. R. C. Bedford, white, who is connected with Tuskegee Institute, writes: 

I have been working for colored people now nineteen years. For eight years, 
1S8'2 to 1890, 1 was pastor of a colored church in Montgomery, Ala. I have trav- 
eled in every Southern state among the graduates of Tuskegee and have taken 
careful note of conditions everywhere I have gone, and instead of things being as 
represented by this book, I have found myself wondering all the time how they 
could be so good. Virtue, not vice, has been the characteristic most pronounced 
everywhere. In the eight years I was in Montgomery I made a thorough study of 
things in the city, and while there was much vice in certain localities, the marvel 
was that there were so many absolutely pure homes. During all the time I was 
there, we had not a single case of immorality connected with our church. I have 
been intimately associated with the work here for nineteen years. I know every 
graduate that has gone out of the school, and many of the 5,000 others who have 
been students here, and I have been constantly delighted with the freedom from 
anything like gross immorality on the part of a very large majority of these 
people. Things mentioned in the circular are the least of our troubles here. I 
have in mind one of our branch schools, located in a very dark county of Alabama, 
with eighteen teachers and about 400 students. I have just come from the Com- 
mencement exercises there and during the whole year, though fifteen of the teach- 
ers are unmarried, there has not been even a breath of scandal. 

Miss Charlotte R. Thorn, white. Principal of tlie Calhoun Colored School, Cal- 
houn, Ala., writes : 

I have been for thirteen years working ainong, for and with, Negroes. The first 
four years' work and life were at Hampton, and I will say nothing much about 
that, for the Hampton teachers have a better and larger knowledge of students 
and graduates than I have. I would say, however, that it was because I saw 
such positive proof of high-mindedness and beauty of character among the 
Negroes and because we saw, year after year, the coming in of earnest, self-respect- 
ing boys and girls, that Miss Dillingham and I felt we must go out and show the 
way of light to some who lived in dark places and had never had a chance to 
know what really was the right in any part of life. 

It was because we had firm belief in the Negro that we came, and each year 
but carries deeper conviction that we were then right. We came here (Calhoun) 
in 1892. During the nine years since I have been constantly filled with admira- 
tion of the people who, with but little to work for and with constant and deep 
temptations, are able to withstand the temptation and struggle on to get a pre- 
carious living, in the strength of high convictions and deep and ever-increasing 
self-respect. When we came we felt that the free living represented sin, but in a 
very few months we believed it represented the natural life of a group of people 
who had never been shown or taught life on a higher plane. After a few months 
of life among them they took hold of what little we could do and began to recon- 
•struct their lives. Of course we found many whom we then believed, and still 
feel, were leading pure, good lives, merely from inborn instincts. 


In regard to the morality of our girls at school, I do not want to omit a state- 
ment which, knowing the community, seems to be almost miraculous. In the 
last twelve months only two girls who have ever been in our school have been 
known to go wrong. One was of mixed Indian, Negro and white blood. She has 
been brought up in a house of vice and brutality, has heard bad language and 
low talk and seen low life and brutal living ever since babyhood; has been bru- 
tally beaten and knocked about, and it was small wonder that she died last week 
in s"in of every sort. The other, a girl of sixteen, is feeble-minded, so that after 
trying to teach her for four years we found she knew but little more than when 
she started in school. These two cases had not been in school for several years, 
and are the only ones out of many hundreds who have attended who have gone 

Our boys and young men from sixteen to twenty-five years of age are upright 
and self-respecting in the majority of cases. Of course, in this community, one of 
the worst in the whole South, when we came here we found all kinds, good and 
bad, but there is daily evidence of desire and strivings for high standards of liv- 
ing, and victories over self that are marvelous. 

The statement of William H. Thomas regarding the morals of the race, accord- 
ing to my knowledge, are false when applied to the Negro race as a whole. Of 
course, no one claims that the race has not its low and bad — all races have these — 
but the Negro's natural instincts are refined and sensitive. 

Rev. H. N. Payne, D. IX, white. President of Mary Holmes Seminary, West Point, 
Miss., writes: 

For the past sixteen years I have been continuously engaged in Christian work 
for and amone: the colored people. 

From that knowledge I say without hesitation that it is not true that "a Negro 
manhood with decent respect for chaste womanhood does not exist." It is untrue 
that "marriage is no barrier to illicit sexual indulgence." 

That there is a great and saddening amount of immorality among the Negroes 
is frequently admitted, but that it is universal is unhesitatingly and absolutely 
denied. I glory in the purity of my own race, though there are some sad, yes, 
monstrovis cases of moral degradation among white women. It has been my 
good fortune to be personally acquainted with many colored women who were 
morally as pure as any white women I have ever known. This I say with tender 
respect and reverence for some who have been very near and dear to me. 

Rev. F. G. Woodworth, D. D., white. President of Tougaloo University, Tougaloo, 
Miss., writes : 

The trend and tendency are very decidedly towards better things in the moral 
life, and it has been in existence long enough to have molded a very considera- 
ble jjortion of the Negro people to a nobler life than Thomas seems to know 
about. The more I study the matter the more I am convinced that with all the 
evils resultant from slavery and from the sudden freedom, the indictments brought 
against the race now have never been fully true, and it is less true now than 

I have had fourteen years of experience and observation in teaching in the 
heart of the black belt of Mississippi. 

There is an increasing number of men who have a high regard for chaste 
womanhood, who are earnest in the desire to protect women from impurity of 
every kind. They welcome and forward such agencies ; for the promotion of purity 
is the White Cross with its pledge of reverence for women. 

The number of girls who would resent solicitations to evil is not a small one and 
among those who have been carefully reared, who have had something of moral 
training, the percentage of those who go astray is a small one. The number of 
homes where the pure ideal of family life exists has increased constantly since 
I have been in the South. There are some pure homes among the poor and illit- 
erate. Among those who are educated the dishonored homes are few. 

Mrs. Sylvanie F. Williams, white, 1438 Euterpe street. New Orleans, La., writes : 

I have been laboring among the colored people since 1870, and as far as my expe- 
rience goes, I am prepared to say that there is a decided improvement in the mor- 
al status all along the line. I have consulted with other teachers of experience 
who have taught in public, private and prominent boarding schools, and none of 
them have ever discovered conditions such as Mr. Thomas names in his explora- 


tion of "Negro training schools of prominence. " As to illegitimate motherhood of 
Negro women, 1 will state that when I first hee:an teaching among the freedmen, I 
was much surprised to find that in a family of several children each had a differ- 
ent name. T have watched that phase of the situation, having an annual register to 
make each year, and have been pleased to see how they have improved, until to- 
day I find, in my school, families of six or more children having the same father, 
and the celebration of crystal and even silver weddings is quite common. I sjjeak 
of the lowly people who are laborers, whose children attend the public school up 
to the fifth grade, because they are not financially able to remain at school beyond 
that period. The school of which I sj^eak numbers 900 pupils, ranging from six 
to eighteen years of age. I do not pretend to say that the entire roll is virtuous, 
although I have no reason to think otherwise, but I do say that the great majority 
of them are a living refutation of every assertion made by Thomas. 

Rev. M. R. Gaines, white. President of Tillotson College, Austin, Tex., writes: 

I have been nearly five years in my present position. We have had an average 
of 200 students a year. There are about fourteen of us white teachers in pretty 
close touch with this body of young people. Of course, they do not lay their secret 
thoughts open to us. I do not believe they are so honeycombed with moral 
depravity and sensuality as these extracts would lead us to suppose. 

When I think over cases of known violation of laws of immorality and chastity, I 
am free to say that the record here will not suffer in comparison with what I could 
name of experience along similar lines elsewhere. My intimate ac(iuaintance 
with young jjeople as teacher covers several decades. 

Rev. P. B. Guernsey, white. President of Roger AVilliams University, Nashville, 
Tenn., writes: 

I personally know from letters received and conversations with parents of girls 
entrusted to this school, that the mothers of our girls are as deeply concerned for 
the morals and general reputation of their girls as any mothers could be. They 
have never failed to sanction unreservedly any restrictions and precautions felt 
to be desirable to protect the girls from even the appearance of evil. I am glad 
to say that this institution, which has for more than thirty years educated young 
men and young women side by side in the same classes and upon the same cam- 
pus, has been, I can safely say, as free from scandal along that line as any 
co-educational institution that I know anywhere. I have worked in at least one 
co-educational institution in the North attended entirely by white students,where I 
saw more to criticise in the relation of the sexes than I liave ever seen here. While 
the moral standards of many colored people are sadly defective, the surprise to 
me is that, considering all the circumstances and the institution of slavery, the 
standards should be as high as they are. 

Rev. C. A. Isbell, United States Jail Physician and Surgeon, 723 South Sixth 
street, Paducah, Ky., writes: 

1 have been for the past ten or twelve years in contact with the Negro, and 
have had direct dealings with him. The statements made by W. H. Thomas, to 
my knowledge, are not true. The race is misrepresented. We have among us 
men and women of the highest character. We are not as a race at the top of the 
ladder in morals, but we are on the way to it. 

Mr. W. H. Hunton, Secretary of the International Committee of Young Men's 
Christian Associations, Colored Men's Department, writes : 

After fourteen years of constant laboring among my people throughout the South, 
especially among young men in the cities and students in boarding schools of all 
grades, I am firmly convinced that a heroic and successful fight is being waged 
against immoral tendencies inherited from centuries of debasing slavery. Of 
course there is much dross yet to be burned away before we can have only pure 
gold remaining. 

I confess with great sorrow of heart that there are some members of my race, 
and possibly a lar^e proportion, who could be put down as fitting one or more of 
the foul characteristics of Mr. Thomas, nor do I seek to cover this acknowledgment 
with the fact that in every other race on the earth, individuals can be found 
equally low in life and character. But there are various classes among the freed- 
men as among other people. 



Born and reared in Canada, and having spent three years just prior to my com- 
ing South in 1888 as a civil servant at Ottawa, where I mingled freely in church and 
social life with some of the best of white Canadians, I find myself greatly encour- 
aged as I compare my experience of the past fourteen years with those of my 
earlier life, and especially the three years referred to above. I have met in all 
sections of the country hundreds of colored women whose bearing has been as 
suggestive of good as that of the women of the fairer race in the North. I have 
also come into close contact with thousands of young men whom I know to be 
struggling against unfortunate inherited tendencies and unfavorable environment. 

It is true that only a few of the Negro race have yet attained to the degree of 
perfection possible among men, but between those few and the submerged masses 
IS a promising and inspiring host of men and women in various stages of moral, 
intellectual and industrial evolution. 

35. Children and the Church. We turn now to the two questions of 
the training of pulpit and pew for the Negro church. Mucli might be 
said of lionie training, but perhaps the testimony of children themselves 
would be of some interest. In the colored public schools of Atlanta 
last May, 1,339 children were asked questions as follows and wrote out 
the following answers: 

Are you a Christian ? 




Seven vears 






Eight years 


Nine vears 


Ten vears ... 


Eleven years 


Twelve years 


Thirteen years 


Fourteen vefirs 


Fifteen years 


Sixteen years 


Seventeen vears 


Eighteen vears 




One-third of the children were church members; of the more mature, 
11-18 years of age, 60 per cent, belong to the church. Nearly all go to 
church, however. 

Do you go to church ? 






Seven years. . . 


















Eight years 

Nine years 


Ten vears 


Eleven years 

Twelve years 

Thirteen years ... .. . . 

Fourteen years 

Fifteen years 

Sixteen years .... 


Seventeen years 

Eighteen years 

Not given 


Do you like to o-o to church ? 



IV 0. 



Seven vears. 















Eight vears 


Nine vears 



Ten vears 


Eleven vears 


Twelve vears 

Thirteen vears 


Fourteen vears 


1 ' 


Sixteen vears 

Seventeen vears 

Nearly all like to go to church. 

Nearly all go to Sunday-school and like it. 

Their denominational affiliations were determined by all sorts of con- 
siderations : 
Why do vou like a certain church the ])est ? 













C 3 























3 . 

C m 
■^ > 



o . 



'T' 3 






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3 s 

f.« 0) 



CB w 


2 ^ 




3 t- 

W (D 




CS 0- 



e ca 

c; •:_ 

S :^ 

■a <s 



c3 1- 






^ s 



n ci 


d O) 





1i c 

<U ii 

oi n 














































Eleven years 














Twelve years 















Thirteen years 

Fourteen vears 















































Seventeen years .... 

Eighteen years 

Not given 











The chief interest, however, lies in their conception of Christianity, 
as there the answers showed plainly their training. The answers to the 
question, ''What does it mean to be a Christian ?", fall into five chief 
groups. First, then, are the answers which make Christianity simple, 
moral goodness, such as a child easily comprehends. Such answers 
were thirty-three in number: 



Age, in Years. 



































To live a better life 









Some others had the idea of goodness, but added the phrase, "and 
live for Jesus," although it is not clear just what this addition meant 
to them. The ages of these were : 

Seven years 9 

Eight years 19 

Nine years 10 

Ten years 8 

Eleven years 7 

Twelve years 5 

Fourteen years 1 

Total 59 

Others considered Christianity as the obeying of the ten command- 

Eight years 1 

Nine years 2 

Ten years 1 

Eleven years 1 

Twelve years 10 

Thirteen years 4 

Fourteen years 7 

Fifteen years 3 

Sixteen years 3 

Total 32 

The idea of love for persons as an expression of Christianity was men- 
tioned. Several said it meant "To love everybody"; two said, "To 
save others." 

Seven years 1 

Eight years 1 

Nine years 1 

Ten years 3 

Eleven years 10 

Twelve years 15 

Thirteen years 8 

Fourteen years 9 

Fifteen years 11 

Sixteen years 2 

7 1 

Total 61 



Others answered, ''To serve God," but it is doubtful if tliey under- 
stood by this, ordinary worli for anyone, although two said, "Work for 
God." Most of them probably meant church service : 

Eight years 4 

Nine years 14 

Ten years 30 

Eleven years 43 

Twelve years 36 

Thirteen years 29 

Fourteen years 26 

Fifteen years 20 

Sixteen years 6 

Seventeen years 2 

Total 210 

From this point the answers became more inystical aud figurative. 
Doubtless they had more or less meaning to the writers, but they 
were repetitions of common phrases and had a certain vagueness : 

Age, in Years. 






















Child of God 

. . . 




Follow Christ 







Soldiers of Christ 
















Believe in Christ 















These were followed by phrases which were without doubt theologi- 
cal and understood by few who used them. Some of these phrases 
were : 

"To have true religion and honor God's word." 

"To be a member in Christ." 

"To be born again." 

"To have the Love of God in your soul." 

"To honor the Lord Jesus Christ." 

"To keep the faith." 

"To trust in the Lord." 

"To honor God." 

Those giving these answers were : 

Nine years 2 

Ten years 5 

Eleven years . • . • • 6 

Twelve years 5 

Thirteen years 13 

Fourteen years 8 

Fifteen years 5 

Sixteen years . . . • 3 

Total 47 



A few looked for certain signs of Christianity, as baptism, joining the 
church, "getting religion," or ''being changed: " 

Seven years 1 

Ten years 5 

Eleven years 2 

Twelve years i» 

Thirteen years 5 

Fourteen years 5 

Fifteen years 7 

Total 34 

Few naturally spoke of the desire for happiness or reward : five men- 
tioned heaven, and one child of eleven, with unconscious socialism, 
defined a Christian as "a poor man!" 

Ten years 2 

Eleven years 2 

Fourteen years 2 

Total 6 

Thirty-seven children answered frankly that they did not know what 
Christianity was, and seventy-six left the query unanswered for lack 
of knowledge or time : 


Age, in Years. 











Don't know. . 






















7 1 

Analyzing these answers further they reveal some interesting facts. 


7-12 years. 

IS years and over. 

Moral and altruistic . . . 
Higher will and phrases . . 


Unanswered, etc 









The children of twelve and under had the clearer and simpler idea of 
the direct connection of goodness and Christianity. The older children 
tended more toward phrases which sought to express the fact that 
religion had reference to some higher will. Indeed this was the more 
popular idea, and 70 per cent, of the children spoke of Christianity as 
''Love for God," "Belief in Christ," or some such phrase. Clear as 
such phrases may be to some minds, they undoubtedly point to a lack 
in the moral training of Negro children. They evidently are not im- 
pressed to a sufficiently large extent with the fact that moral goodness 
is the first requirement of a Christian life. 


A few typical answers, given verbatim, follow : 
What does it mean to be a Christian ? 

Age 13. 

(a) It means that you love God, the church, and the people, and all good 

things, but hate evil things. 
6) To be kind, honest, and trustworthy. 

c) To be a Christian means to live and die the same. 

d) It means to serve God in a true way and live above suspicion. 
(') To live as God would have you live. 
/) To give your lieart to God. 
g) To praise the Lord. 
/() Holy and happy. 

Age 14. 

a) To believe in God and not only be called a Christian, but to live the life of 

b) To tell the truth, to have a clean heart, and to keep the church laws. 

c) To change your mind to do right. 

d) To live for Christ and try to help others to come to Him. 

e) To live for Christ and obey the word of the Lord Jesus Christ, who died to 
save us. 

/) To have your sins pardoned by God and to be washed in the blood of the 

g) When the Lord has forgiven you of your sins and you know it and you mean 

to follow Him the balance of your days and do all you can to make others 

come to Him. 
h) To keep in the right path. 
(' ) To obey the laws of the church. 
j ) To hold love In your heart toward God and all mankind and work on earth 

for the upbuilding of God's cause. 
k) To believe that .Jesus is the Son of Crod, and that all power Is in His hand. 
I ) A Christian means something more than praying. 

Age 15. 

a) To be a holy person. 

b) To be truthful and never swear. 

Age 16. 

a) To be true and honest. 

b) If I am not a fihristian in the day of judgment my soul will be lost, because 
Christ has said that if a man is not born again he "cannot enter the kingdom 
of firod. Therefore, I serve and love the Lord. 

36. The Training of Ministers. Tliere are in the United States the 
following- theoloiiical schools designed especially for Negroes : 

Atlanta Baptist College, Atlanta, Ga., Baptist 1867 

Union TTnlversity, Richmond, Va., Baptist ....... 1867 

Blddle University, Charlotte, N. C, Presbyterian .... 1867 

Howard, Washington, D. C, non -sectarian ....... 1870 

Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, Presbyterian 1871 

Talladega, Talladega, Ala., Congregational 1872 

Stillman, Tuscaloosa, Ala., Presbyterian 1876 

Gammon, Atlanta, Ga., Methodist Episcopal 1883 

Braden, Nashville, Tenn., Methodist Episcopal 1889 

King Hall, Washington, D. C., Protestant Episcopal . . . 1890 
Fisk University, Nashville, Tenn., Congregational .... 1892 
Wllberforce, Wilberforee, Ohio, African Methodist Episco- 
pal ... • 1891 

Straight University, New Orleans, La., Congregational . . ? 

The detailed figures as to these schools are as follows : 




Length of course 

Length of session 



Students with A. B. and B. S. degrees. 

Total number graduates 

Prospective graduates of 1903 

Value of grounds and buildings 

Endowment fund 

Total Income 

"Volumes In library 
















I 3(i,000 








$ 75,000 

















< 4,500 


Length of course 

Length of session 



Students with A. B. and B. S. de- 

Total number graduates 

Prospective graduates of 1S)03 

Value of grounds and buildings 

Endowment fund 

Total income 

Volumes In library 








4, OX? 






S 300.000 































<' Three others assist partially. t Five others teach partially, t Two others assist partially. 

This shows thirty-three teachers and 368 theological students. Of 
these students sixty are college graduates. The total number of 
theological graduates is 1,196, and sixty-three more graduated in 1903. 
The reported value of grounds and buildings was $797,500 and the 
endowment amounted to $944,229, of which $562,096 Ijelonged to one 
institution. The income was reported only partially and amounted to 
$39,307.89. The libraries held 49,000 books. In many cases of omitted 
figures the items are not differentiated from the general figures relat- 
ing to the institution, of which the theological school is a part. The 
reports from certain of the schools speak of their present condition and 

Atlanta Baptist College. — The great difficulty in theological training is, that 
aspirants for the ministry, who have such literary training as would fit them to 
pursue a theological course with profit, find themselves able to meet the demands 
of most congregations without such training, and those who have not that literary 
training can take only the most elementary course in theology. Tlie result is, 
speaking generally, that few of our students are able to complete a course in 
theology, and the average ability of the students of that department is not high. 
This means, of course, that the demand is for general culture and rhetorical ability 


in the pulpit rather than theological training. I think there is an increasing 
demand for more culture in the pulpit but not for specially theological training. 
In view of the fact that so large a number of the Negro ministry are uneducated, 
I am convinced of the fact that a most important class of theological training is 
that given in local ministers' institutions, of short duration, and dealing with 
exclusively Biblical topics. 

FisK University. — We have no regular Theological Department this year. Mr. 
Morrow taught some college students who took a theological elective in the fall 

We have had no applications that we considered at all worth the considering. 
Insufficient preparation and other circumstances have turned down all that we 
have had. 

Gammon. — Some of the students who come to us from other institutions of theo- 
logical training show that in some of them the instruction is of a very low grade. 
From other evidences, I believe, however, that, considering all the circumstances, 
a fair standard is maintained, but there should evidently be an effort made to 
secure more collese-prepared students, and a more advanced course for them. 

Wide observation and reports from our students from nearly every part of the 
nation convince me that the Negro's religious condition is .steadily improving and 
that there is still room for large advance. 

Br.\pen School of Theology. — I have been engaged in the work of the Chris- 
tian ministry for more than a quarter of a century, and will say without hesitation 
that I have never seen a more hopeful outlook for the moral uplift of our people 
than now. Better homes, higher appreciation of public instruction, the schools 
and colleges established and fostered by various religious denominations, with the 
constantly elevating standards of the Christian ministry are among the potential 
factors in the marvelous change in the religious sentiment of the Negro. 

To meet the increasing demand of this transitional church and to direct the 
religious energies of this most emotional race, means an increasing output of our 
theological seminaries or schools which devote their time to this special work. 
But this ])reparation must be based upon the most enlarged views of the vast sjiir- 
itual needs of the race. It must be broader than a mere denominational predi- 
lection. It involves a world-wide preparation for a world-wide salvation. While 
our theological schools are doing a magnificent work it must be admitted that the 
supply is not equal to the demands. The facilities for the kind of work required 
ought to be increased a hundredfold. Even then it would tax the energies of those 
directing affairs to meet the imperative demands for a thoroughly trained minis- 

Virginia Union University. — A very small proportion of those who are entering 
the Negro ministry are receiving a broad, thorough training similar to that given 
in any Northern theological seminary. The weak points in this training are the 
same as in the training of Northern schools. I believe there is not enough atten- 
tion given to relating the truth which is learned to life and the conditions with 
which the pastor will be surrounded. The theological student is not trained suffi- 
ciently in the problems of the community, the possibilities of increasing the welfare 
of the people, in practical ethics, in the practical hand to hand use of the Bible in 
effective public speaking. But, notwithstanding these failures, the record of our 
school shows, at least, that men with ordinary ability and such training as has 
been given have proved very useful in winning converts, in building up the char- 
acter of the church and in improving the conditions of the communities. I think 


their record as useful ministers of the gospel would bear comparison with the 
record of the graduates of any Northern theological seminary. 

As for the demand for this kind of education, our students, if they have ability, 
find no difficulty in securing wide fields of usefulness. We therefore feel that 
there is a large demand for men trained in this way. I do not believe that the 
character of the training should be changed, but I do believe that added emphasis 
should be placed on some things. I cannot see how a preacher can be a specialist 
in matters of religion without being able to get to the foundations of questions, 
without knowing how to use his Greek and Hebrew Bible, without knowing church 
history, theology and homiietics. I believe he needs these things, but with them 
he needs more knowledge of modern conditions and methods and the possibilities 
and ideals of individual and community life. 

Walden. — This school was formerly known as Central Tennessee College. Rev. 
,Tohn Braden, who was for nearly a quarter of a century its president, organized, 
in 1S89, a theological department which was continued under his supervision for 
nearly ten years. His death occurred in 1899, which closed the department. It is 
not possible to furnish you with correct data as to the school during the last three 
or four years of the life of the late Dr. Braden. 

The change in the name of the school from Central Tennessee College to Walden 
University was followed by the election of Rev. Jay Benson Hamilton, D. D., as 
president to succeed the lamented Dr. John Braden. The theological department 
has been reorganized and is now known as the Braden School of Theology of 
Walden University, thus perpetuating the name of its founder. 

Straight University. — Most of our students take only a partial course, and for 
this reason do not appear among our graduates The total attendance this year is 
eleven. Seven of these are pursuing studies in other departments. 

I am without assistance at present. Our work is not well developed, but much 
good has been done and the future looks more hopeful. 

My judgment is that hardly sufficient attention has been given to the education 
of our ministry. Still good foundations have been laid, and the importance of the 
subject is better understood. The demand is increasing. Churches which a few 
years ago were satisfied with uneducated men now search the country for men of 
high character and intelligence. 

As to the success of the educated ministers that has been fully settled. The old 
assertion oft repeated that educated ministers could not j) reach successfully to 
churches of ignorant people has been thoroughly discredited in the city and the 
country. As to the education itself, the conception of religion as including all life 
within its scope and the duty of the minister to interest himself in sociology and 
the material and educational progress of the people should be insisted on. 

King Hall. — (a) The success of theological training in the past has been, consid- 
ering the conditions, unparalleled. I doubt if history records another instance of a 
slave and subject population producing in so brief a space so many intelligent, pro- 
gressive and high-minded men as are to be found in the pulpits of the Negro church- 
es. It cannot be denied that there is still much ignorance and that a very lofty 
standard of morality is not always upheld, yet in view of historical and social convic- 
tions, the dominant emotions may be pride and thanksgiving for past achievement. 

(b) The present condition of theological training gives ground for hope that 
conditions in the future will be superior to those in the past. The rule in former 
years has been that any man who evinced a slight degree of rhetorical or oratorical 
aptitude, or gave any promise of becoming useful to his denomination, was admit- 



ted to the ministry with little or no regard to his academic or theological pre- 
paration, but that method is the exception rather than the rule today. All of the 
religious denominations now demand some sort of intellectual preparation as a 
preliminary to ordination or licensure, and the rapid multiplication in these latter 
years of theological seminaries prophesies increase in the numbers of a well-trained 
ministry. Moreover, the diffusion of popular intelligence and the educational 
advance of the race will more and more demand an educated ministry, just as the 
steady quickening and strengthening of the ethical sense in the race will more and 
more demand moral purity and piety in those who minister at the altars. 

(c) The direction it should take: 

It should be dominantly and emphatically ethical and spiritual. The race must 
have clean, pure, high-minded men in her ministry, or it is doomed. Like priest, 
like people, and morality is the basis of the race's life. It must be soundly intellec- 
tual. There should be broad culture and a thorough scholarship. The bombastic 
and pretentious must be barred, at any rate sternly discouraged. If the alternative 
is broad and thorough academic, or merely theological training, I would say, choose 
the former, for with that any deficiency in the latter can be easily remedied. 

The tendency has been, and it is, to reverse this order. There is no training like 
that of the college and there is no people who stand in so much need of it as Negroes, 
and hence they must resist every effort to rob them of its advantages. 

The training of the minister should also be practical. The race needs good, 
educated men, but it needs, and needs sorely, leadership in all that pertains to 
race development, and mere goodness and intelligence are not always guarantees 
of practical power. The Negro minister needs to know and do more than merely 
preach and pray. He must be possessed of public spirit and have the capacity to co- 
operate in educational and other social movements which promise present as well 
as prospective salvation. He must fit himself to preach and also practice the scrip- 
ture that hath the promise of the life that now is as well as that which is to come. 

The course of study at one school is sul)joined as fairly typical of the 
courses offered in all the schools: 

Virginia Union University 

Bachelor of Divinity Course 

First Term. Second Term. 

Biblical Introduction. 
Hebrew Ijuiguage 
Greels Interpi-ctation 
Sacred Rhetoric and Elocution. 
Vocal Music. 

Biblical Introduction. 
Hebrew Language. 
Greek Interpretation 
Sacred Rhetoric and Elocution. 
Vocal Music. 


Church History. 
Helirew Interpretation. 
Greek Interpretation. 
Sacred Rhetoric and Elocution. 
Vocal Music. 

Church History. 


Christian Theology. 

Sacred Rhetoric and Elocution. 

Vocal Music. 


Biblical Introduction. 
Homiletics and Church Polity. 
Christian Theology. 
Sacred Rhetoric and Elocution. 

Pastoral Duties. 

Theology and Ethics. 


Sacred Rhetoric and Elocution. 

Candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Divinity, before entering upon the 
theological course, must have completed in a satisfactory manner the common 
school studies, namely : Reading, Spelling, Writing, Grammar, Geography, United 



States History, and Arithmetic. They must also have done faithful work for, at 
least, one year of eight months, with five i"ecitations a week in each of the follow- 
ing subjects and groups of subjects and must pass a satisfactory examination in 
at least eleven of these subjects before entering upon the theological course, two 
of which must be English Literature and Rhetoric and Composition. The subjects 
and groups of subjects are as follows: English Literature, Rhetoric and Compo- 
sition, English History and General History, Physical Geography and Botany, Phy- 
sics and Physiology, Algebra, Geometry, Civil Government and Ethics, and Indus- 
trial Training. 

In addition to the required English studies, candidates for the degree of Bach- 
elor of Divinity, before entering the classes in Hebrew' and Greek, must pursue a 
course in Greek, which shall include Greek Grammar, Composition, and three 
books of the Anabasis. 

Candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Theology, before entering upon the 
studies of the theological course, must possess the same English qualifications and 
pass the same tests upon English subjects as are required of candidates for the 
degree of Bachelor of Divinity. 

Negroes have also attended tlieological schools in the North. It has 
been impossible to get a full account of these, but some figures are 
available : 


Christian Biblical Institurp, Stanfordville, N. Y 

Presbyterian Thfolotiiciil 8enilnary,( )maha. Neb.. 

Rochester Theol<>^;u-al ISciiiinarv, Uorliester, N. Y 

Tufts Colleffe, Divinity School, tufts College, Mass 

Episcopal Theoluiiical School, Cambridge. Mass 

Chicago Theological Seminary, Chicago, 111 

Seabury Divinity School, Faribault. Minn 

New Church Theological School. Cambridge, Mass 

Allegheny Theological Seminary, Allegheny, Pa 

Ryder Divinity School, Uonibard University, Galesburg, 111 

Reade Seminary, Taylor University, Upland, Ind 

Lane Theological Seminary, Cincinnati, O .' 

Princeton Theok)gical Seniinary, Princeton, N. J 

St. .loseph's Seniinary, Baltimore, Md 

Union Biblical Seminary, Dayton, O 

General Theological Seminary of Protestant Episcopal Church, New 

York, N. Y 

Eureka College, Bible Department, Eureka, 111 

Union Theological Seminary, New York, N. Y 

University of Ohicauo, Divinitv School, Chicago, 111 

Meadville Tlieoloijical School, Meadville, Pa 

Oberlin Theological Seminary, Oberlin, O 

St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore, Md 

ShurtlefT College, Theological Department, Upper Alton, 111 

Yale Divinity School, New Haven, Conn 

Hamilton Theological Seminary, Colgate University,Hamilton, N.Y . 

Xenia Theological Seminary, Xenia, O 

Reformed Presbyterian Theological Semlnarv, Allegheny, Pa 

Moravian Theolouicnl Seminarv, Bethlehem, Pa '. 

Hillsdale College, Theological School, Hillsdale, Mich 

Evangelic;il Theolosicnl Seminarv, Gettvsburg, Pa 

Concordia, College, SiMiniitield, 111 ' 

Mc-(.'ormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, 111 

Union Christian College, Theological Department, Merom, Ind 

Hartford Theological Seminary, Hartford, C!onn 

Newton Theological Institution, Newton Center, Mass 

DivinitySchool t)f the Protestant EpiscopalChurch, Philadelphia,Pa. 

Drew Theological Seminary, Madison, N.J 

Auburn Theological Seminary, Auburn, N.Y 

Drake University, Bible Department, Des Moines, la 

Western Theological Seminarv, Alleghenv, Pa 

Pacific Theological Seminarv, Oakland, C^al 

Nashotah House, Nashotah, Wis 

Andover Theological Seminary, Andover, Mass 

Boston Univenslty, School of theology, Boston, Mass 



















About twelve. 



Twelve (?). 



Ten en. 










Eight or ten. 


Ten or twelve. 


Three (?). 


The following schools in addition have had Negro students, but so far 
as known no graduates: 

Theological Seminary of the Reformed Ohurch New Brunswick, N. J 

St. Vincent's Seminary Beatty, Pa. 

Kenvon College, Dlvinltv School Gambler, O. 

Susq\iehanna University, Theological Department Selinsgrove, Pa. 

Greenville College, School of Theology Greenville, 111. 

Augustana Theological Seminary Rock Island, 111. 

German Evangelical Lutheran Seminary, Capital University. .Columbus, O. 

Crozier Theological Seminary Chester, Pa. 

Theological Semlnarv of Reformed Church Lancaster, Pa. 

Temple College of Philadelphia, Theological School Philadelphia, Pa. 

The color line is, of course, evident in such institutions in spite of 

religion. The schools above admit Negroes. The following schools 

would admit them if they applied, but have never had applicants: 

St. Paul Seminary St. Paul, Minn. 

St. Lawrence University Canton, N. Y. 

St. Joseph's Seminary Yonkers, N. Y. 

St. Charles's Seminary Overbrook, P?. 

United Church Seminary Minneapolis, Minn. 

Augsburg Seminary MiJineajiolis, Minn. 

Western Theological Seminary Hoi la ml, Mich. 

Cobb Divinitv School Lewiston, Me. 

Bangor Theological Seminary Bangor, Me. 

Wart burg Seniiiiarv Dubuque, la. 

Charles CItv College Charles City, la. 

Union Biblical Institute Naperville, 111. 

Chicago Luthern Theological Seminary Chicago, 111. 

Berkeley Divinity School Middletown, Conn 

San P'ra'ncisco Theological Seminary San Anselmo, Cal. 

Ooncordiu Theological Seminary St. Louis, Mo. 

Redemptorist College of Ilchester Ilchester, Mo. 

In the following schools there have ])een no Negro applicants, and it 

is not certain whether Negroes would be admitted : 

Chui-ch Divinity School of the Pacific San Mateo, Cal. 

Western Theological Seminary Atchison, Kan. 

Mt. St. Mary's Theological School Mt. St. Mary's, Md. 

St. John's University Collegeville, Minn. 

Theological Seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church Philndflphia, Pa. 

Erskine Theolouical SiMuinary Duewest, S. C. 

Union Theological Seminary Richmond, Va. 

German Lutheran Seminary St. Paul, Minn. 

Heidelberg Theological Seminary Tiffin, O. 

St. Bernard's Seminary Rochester, N. Y. 

Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary Louisville, Ky. 

Red Wing Seniiiiarv Red Wing, Minn. 

Ursinus College School of Theology Philadelphia, Pa. 

St. Paul's College St. Paul, Minn. 

The following schools are non-committal on the question : 

Hart wick Seminary Hartwick Seminary, N. Y 

Eugene Divinity School Eugene, Ore. 

Kenrick Theological Seminary St, Louis, Mo. 

The following schools do not receive Negroes for obvious reasons of 
languages, etc. : 

German Martin Luther Seminary BulTalo, N. Y. 

Norwegian Danish Theological Seminary Evanston, Ind. 

'Jewish Theological Seniinary New York, N. Y 

German Theological School of Newark Madison, N. J. 

The following schools do not admit Negroes: 

Denver Theological Semlnarv Denver, Col. 

St. Viateur's College Kankakee, 111. 

St. Meinrad's Ecclesiastical Seminary St. Meinrad, Ind. 


Grfi art View Collese Des Moines, la. 

Preslivterinn Tho(ilo<_ncal Seminary Danville, Ky. 

Southern Baptist Thi'oloLiical Seminary Louisville, Ky. 

Westminster Theoloiiical Seminary Westminster, Md. 

Redemptorlst Seniinarv of St. Louis Province .... ( Mty, Mo. 

Central Weslevan College Warrenton, Mo. 

Seminarv of the Immaculate Conception South orange, N. J. 

St. Marv's College Belmont, N. C. 

St. Charles's Seminary Carthagena, O. 

Presbyterian Theological Seminary Columtiia, S. (!. 

Evantrelical Lutheran Seminary Mount Pleasant, S. O. 

(irant Universltv Chattanooga, Tenn. 

Southwestern Pi-esbvterlan University Clarksville, Tenn. 

Vanderhilt Universltv Nashville, Tenn. 

T'niversitv of the South Sewanee, Tenn. 

Kpiscopal Theological Seminary Theological Seminary, Va. 

Provincial Seminarv of St. P'rancls of Sales St. Francis, Wis. 

Kvaiigellcal Lutheriin Theological Seminary Wauwatosa, Wis. 

Theolouical Seminary of Kden College St. Louis, Mo. 

Mission House of the Reformed Church Franklin, Wis. 

Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary Saginaw, Mich. 

(Christian University, Theological Department .... Canton, Mo. 

St. Stanislaus Seminary . Florisant, Mo. 

St. Marv's Theolouical Seminary Cleveland, O. 

St. "Vincent's Seminary Philadelphia, Pa. 

Rio (Jrande Congregational Training School El Paso, Te.x. 

Kansas City University, College of Theology Kansas City, Kan. 

We have, therefore, a record of at least 185 Negro g-radiiates of 
Northern theological schools. They have not gone to these schools in 
large enough ninnber to allow any very valuable conclusions to be 
drawn, but the authorities of the schools have returned answers to sev- 
eral questions : 

How have your colored students compared with others in ability? 

They have been quite average in ability. Mr. was quite scholarly. Mr. 

did not take readily to accurate scholarship, but good in gaining general informa- 
tion. He used what he gained quite effectively. — Christian Biblical Institute. 

The one student was of fair ability and compared with others in his class. — 
Presbyterian Theological Seminary. 

Those we have had are so few in ntimber that no conclusions with regard to the 
ability of the race can be drawn from them. If I were to judge only from those 
who have come to the Seminary I should be obliged to say that they were far 
below the average of our white students. — Rochester Theological Seminary. 

We gave . a young Baptist minister, the B. D. since graduation. We felt that 

we owed something to his race. — Tufts College, Divinity School. 

They have compared well. One was an excellent scholar, but no more than some 
whites. — Episcopal Theological School. 

About up to average. One was an African chief, was a man of force ; a second 
was weak as a scholar, but had unusual dramatic power; the third is a successful 
pastor. One, a B. A., we dismissed because he could not keep up with the work. 
Others left for similar reasons. — Chicago Theological Seminary. 

Favorably. — Seabury Divinity School. 

Favorably. — New Church Theological School. 

Very well. — Allegheny Theological Seminary. 

Mr. was an excellent student, both in scholarship and character. He has been 

for some years an influential member of the faculty of Guadalupe College, Seguin, 
Texas. — Ryder Divinity School, Lombard University. 

Nearly e<jual. — Reade Theological Seminary of Taylor University. 

Equal in diligence and regularity, superior with average in memory; below 
average in logical precision, and below average in orderly arrangement of knowl- 
edge. — Lane Theological Seminary. 

Not unfavorably, although some of them have proved unable to pursue our 
course owing to lack of preliminary education. — Princeton Theological Seminary. 


Two of our colored boys were amone the best. The others were averae:e students. 
Remember that the students of this house attend the lectures at St. Mary's Sem- 
inary, the National Seminary of the United States, in which are about 240 students, 
all whites. — St. Joseph's Seminary. 

Their previous advantages were poor, and they themselves not of the best in 
natural adaptation. — Union Biblical Seminary. 

They have been quite equal to the average white student in ability. — General 
Theological Seminary. 

About average. — Eureka College, Bible Department. 

This is a difficult question to answer and all the reply that is jDossible must be 
based on the individual opinion of the one entertaining it. There is no one person 
living who knows all of the colored students who have attended this Seminary. 
Personally I have known about six. Three of these were men of good ability, two 
of them above rather than below the medium line. Three others were below the 
average, two of them being distinctly inferior to the white low grade. But, on the 
other hand, it should be added that one of the si.x graduated with the diploma of 
the Seminary. He was above the ordinary average. — Union Theological Seminary. 

Fairly well. Some of them have been able, some rather bright, but shallow, and 
two or three weak. A greater diversity than among whites. — University of Chicago, 
Divinity School. 

Most of our colored students have been "specials," i. e., not members of our regu- 
lar classes (.Junior, Middle and Senior), but taking a partial course in connection 
with their service of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in this place. Their 
pastoral duties, of course, absorbed most of their time. Perhaps their average 
ability, as manifested to us, was hardly equal to that of our other students as 
scholars. — Meadville Theological School. 

During the ten years of my teaching here the grade of men has been very good 
indeed. We get some of the best and very rarely any of the poorest. I mean that 
they grade with our other students, though no colored man has ever led the Sem- 
inary in scholarship. They have taken second and third grade scholarships, but 
not a first.— Oberlin Theological Seminary. 

The three graduates have stood well up among the first third of their classes. — 
St. Mary's Seminary. 

Most not up to average. One very much excelled in ability. — Shurtleff College. 

They have varied greatly. It has seemed to depend largely upon the school at 
which they prepared. — Yale Divinity School. 

They were not college men, as our students universally are, hence were at a dis- 
advantage. Notwithstanding, they worked honestly and did well. — Xenia Theo- 
logical Seminary. 

These men were educated in the North; one, , was born in Allegheny, Pa. — 

Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary. 

He compared well ; was their equal in many respects, only somewhat less logical 
in thought and expression, and perhaps less logical and independent in ideas. — 
Moravian Theological Seminary. 

Not above the average. — Hillsdale College. 

Four of these compared favorably with the other students in some respects; the 
others were total failures. — Concordia College. 

No difference appreciable. — McCormick Theological Seminary. 

Somewhat below the average of white students. — Union Christian College, Theo- 
logical Seminary. 

They have not equalled the average of our other students, except perhaps in two 
cases, but they have not usually fallen far below. — Hartford Theological Seminary. 

Their ability has been from fair to good. That of a few of the men may be called 
very good. — Newton Theological Seminary. 

Only a few have compared favorably. One alone, if I am rightly informed, can 
be ranked among the very able men which this school has graduated. — Divinity 
School of the Protestant Episcopal Church. 

They have maintained a good average.— Drew Theological Seminary. 


In ability the average of the colored students has certainly not been below that 
of others. — Auburn Theological Seminary. 

As far as I can learn they have. — Drake University, Bible Department. 

Very favorably in most cases. During the past six years while I have been con- 
nected with the institution, we have had two colored students. One took a very 
high stand in the class and was elected president of the class. The other was so 
deficient in intellectual powers that he was dropped after six weeks' trial. — Western 
Theological Seminary. 

This man, an ordained minister, with a church in San Francisco, took only spe- 
cial studies for one year. Of average ability with others of his class. But was 
irregular because of pastoral duties. — Pacific Theological Seminary. 

He was above the average in scholarship, and took the degree of B. D. — Nashotah 

How have they compared in character and morals ? 

Very well. Quite on an average with the white students. They were respected 
by the white students without regard to their color. — Christian Biblical Institute. 

We never knew any criticisms on either. — Presbyterian Theological Seminary. 

We cannot complain of any positive infractions of immorality on their part. 
There has been weakness of purpose, over-sensitiveness to others' opinions, consid- 
erable vanity and love of display. — Rochester Theological Seminary. 

Compared well in this respect. — Tufts College, Divinity School. 

They have been without exception men of good morals and of manly character. — 
Episcopal Theological School. 

Fairly well with others. Though in two or three cases of men who did not gradu- 
ate there was a lack of determination and persistent effort. One had trouole in 
his family which led us to advise him to leave the Seminary. — Chicago Theologi- 
cal Seminary. 

Favorably.— Seabury Divinity School. 

Favorably. — New Church Theological School. 

They were not inferior. — Allegheny Theological Seminary. 

Very favorably. — Ryder Divinity School, Lombard University. 

Not as strong in character. — Reade Theological Seminary of Taylor University. 

Well. — Lane Theological Seminary. 

Favorably. — Princeton Theological Seminary. 

The blacks are just as good as the whites. — St. Joseph's Seminary. 

Not so favorably with the white students. — Union Biblical Seminary. 

They have been, so far as I know, uniformly excellent in character and morals. — 
General Theological Seminary of Protestant Episcopal Church. 

Much above the average. — Eureka College, Bible Department. 

As all of these men were candidates for the ministry it is to be supposed that a 
reply to this question is superfluous. I have no reason to make any unfavorable 
comparisons. — Union Theological Seminary. 

Generally the equals of the whites. Two or three have been careless about finan- 
cial honor, and one was dismissed for presenting for his own sermons taken from 
others. — University of Chicago, Divinity School. 

They have compared favorably with our other students in morals and character. 
— Meadville Theological Seminary. 

Our Seminary men have been of the very best — earnest Christians, sane, modest. 
Nothing in these respects has been left to be desired. — Oberlin Theological Sem- 

Very well. — Shurtleff College, Theological Department. 

I have noticed no difference when each had the same chances. — Yale Divinity 

Quite favorably. All three were earnest and devout. — Xenia Theological Sem- 


He was irreproachable in conduct and bore a good moral character. — Moravian 
Theological .Seminary. 

Well. — Hillsdale College, Theological School. 

Those educated in our colored Lutheran mission schools in the South compared 
well. The rest proved to be unsatisfactory. — Concordia College. 

No ditt'erence. — McCormick Theological Seminary. 

Average, good. — Union Christian College, Theological Department. 

Very well, as a rule. — Hartford Theological Seminary. 

Favorably for the most part. I think it is a strain upon character for them to 
take their course here, since some of them are inclined to estimate themselves 
highly and to be ambitious for place.— Newton Theological Institution. 

Equal to the white students. All of them better than some of the white stu- 
dents. — Divinity School of the Protestant Episcopal Church. 

They have been men of good character so far as I know. — Drew Theological 

In character and morals they compare evenly in the case of the best men. In 
other cases they are not very uneven, except that an abnormally large number of 
colored men borrow money and fail to pay. — Auburn Theological Seminary. 

They compare well. — Drake University, Theological Department. 

Very favorably. I believe there has been only one case where discipline was 
necessary. — Western Theological Seminary. 

During the vacation of his last year he was charged with immoral conduct by a 
young woman of his congregation. The matter came into the public press, but 
the charge was denied by student. — Pacific Theological Seminary. 

What has been their success in after life? 

Good. — Christian Biblical Institute. 

One of these left us at the end of his first year and we have never been able to 
learn anything from him since. A second was so feeble in scholarship that we 
had to dismiss him to another institution. The third succeeded in graduating, 
and has been doing useful service from that time until now. — Rochester Theologi- 
cal Seminary. 

Mr. is now in his senior year in Medical School of Tufts College, Boston, 

Mass. He wants to be doubly prepared for missionary work. — Tufts College, 
Divinity School. 

One is the successful minister of a colored church in Washington, where he has 
been for nine years, ever since graduation. Another had difficulty in getting a 
suitable place, but now is well settled. The third is just going out. — Ei^iscopal 
Theological School. 

The four graduates did well. One died in Africa, a second is a professor in a 
Southern college, the third is a pastor in Washington, D. C, the fourth is a pastor 
in the South. — Chicago Theological Seminary. 

If anything, above the average man of their class. — Seabury Divinity School. 

Good. — New Church Theological School. 

Not especially noticeable, but very fair. — Allegheny Theological Seminary. 

Quite useful. — Reade Theological Seminary of Taylor University. 

Two are priests. A third teaches school under his father in New Orleans, La. 
The fourth is a school teacher in Oklahoma. — St. Jose^jli's Seminary. 

Good, those who remained in the ministry. — Union Biblical Seminary. 

As a rule, quite as good as the white fellow students. — General Theological Sem- 

So far as known, satisfactory. — Eureka College, Bible Department. 

The one mentioned above as a graduate took a church in New York and made a 
success of it despite heavy odds. He worked so hard, however, that he under- 
mined his health and died at an early age, respected and beloved by the members 
of the Presbytery with which he was connected. Most of the others I have not 
been able to trace. They have belonged to various denominations and I have not 
had the time to look them up specifically.— Union Theological Seminary. 


Some have had marked success; some have done fairly well and a few have 
proved failures, but I judge as large a proportion have succeeded as among our 
white students. — University of Chicago, Divinity School. 

So far as I have been able to judge from rather scanty information, they have 
had a fair degree of success in their work. — Meadville Theological School. 

All, without exception so far as my own knowledge extends, have been excep- 
tionally faithful and successful. But my personal knowledge does not cover all 
the cases. — Oberlin Theological Seminary. 

They are all doing quite well. — St. Mary's Seminary. 

Only two have had a marked success. — Shurtleff College. 

Our regular graduates have been successful men. — Yale Divinity School. 

So far as I know, it has been good. They are useful and influential men. — Xenia 
Theological Seminary. 

He served as a missionary in Dutch Guiana, South America, disagreed with his 
superiors, became discontented and was dismissed from the church service because 
of unsuitable marriage connection, after it had been decided to give him a call in 
the West Indies. — Moravian Theological Seminary. 

Fair. — Hillsdale College, Theological School. 

Know not, except in case of Bishop D. A. Payne, whose history belongs to the 
public. — Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary. 

Two are missionaries among their own people and, as the reports say, are doing 
well. — Concordia College. 

Fair. — McCormick Theological Seminary. 

Not striking. A limited number have made a splendid record — some as teachers, 
some as soldiers in the United States Army. — Union Christian College, Theological 

So far as we know their careers have varied greatly, but we judge that they have 
generally carried themselves at least wnth credit. — Hartford Theological Seminary. 

Very creditable. — Divinity School of the Protestant Episcopal Church. 

So far as I have known they have done well and have proved useful ministers of 
the people. — Drew Theological Seminary. 

Tested numerically, too large a proportion of the colored men have either died 
young or have thus far failed of being distinctly successful. Of the fifteen two- 
thirds are successful, and some of the others may become so. The list is too short, 
however, and the instances too peculiar to make the numerical showing very 
decisive. — Auburn Theological Seminary. 

The one whose name I give is reported as doing good work. — Drake University, 
Bible Department. 

It compares favorably with that of our other graduates. Most of them are labor- 
ing under the Board of Freedmen in the South.— Western Theological Seminary. 

Other schools say in general : 

Of the colored men who have graduated from Boston University, School of The- 
ology, J. W. E. Bowen, Prof. Wm. B. Fenderson, Prof. M. M. Ponton, are perhaps the 
most prominent. J. A. D. Bloise is a strong preacher (graduate Livingstone Col- 
lege) and A. W.Thomas who graduates to-morrow is a brilliant student. — Boston 
University, School of Theology. 

Harvard has had three students. One excelled in philosophical studies. Two 
stood low. One of these was "of high character and morals", the other was prob- 
ably an "impostor." — Harvard LTniversity. 

In the last twelve years I can remember of about three, no one of whom 
graduated. They have not been well prepared for our work nor have they been of 
average ability.— Garrett Biblical Institute. 

We are expecting great things of our one colored student who is now with us, 
and I should like to see our school become a larger factor in the solution of the 
race problem in the South.— Meadville Theological School. 

We have never had a colored student graduate from the Theological Course, 
though we have had many take the course in part. The difficulty has always 


been that they come to the course unprepared and have fallen by the wayside. 
We had one colored student who very successfully completed our Law Course, but 
he was better prepared to begin the work. 

It is very dilTicult to make the colored students realize that they must have a 
good foundation before beginning the study of theology. They desire to study 
theology before they know how to spell or before they have any knowledge of 
English grammar. So far as our observations have gone, we have never had any 
complaint to make of them morally, and they are generally very earnest. — The 
Temple College. 

37. Some Notable Preachers. Certain early preachers among the 
Negroes have been noted in the eleventh and twelfth sections of this 
treatise. A word ought to be said as to some of their successors. Of the 
more notable preachers, the African Methodists have furnished Bishop 
Daniel Payne, a pure Christian and able executive officer, and perhaps 
the greatest of the bishops of that church; the Baptists have given 
us D. W. Anderson and Leonard A. Grimes, men of vigor and daring; 
the Episcopalians are proud of the clean character and learning of 
Alexander Crummell. Henry Highland Garnett was an eloquent 
Presbyterian, and the greatest of the Zion Methodists was the late 
J. C. Price. These men are all noteworthy as upright, able men, elo- 
quent speakers and notable leaders and organizers. 

Of living Negro preachers some are worthy of mention: there are 
the bishops of the three Methodist bodies, of which the foremost 
character is undoubtedly Bishop Benjamin F. Lee, a worthy suc- 
cessor of Daniel Payne, and a type of man too seldom put to the front; 
with him may be mentioned Bishop B. T. Tanner. Among the Baptists 
are two notable organizers, E. C. Morris, President of the National 
Baptist Convention, and R. F. Boyd, the head of the publishing house. 
The Presbyterians have in the Rev. Francis J. Grimke a man of 
l^ower and upright character, and the Negro priest of longest service 
in the Episcopal Church is one of the most valuable social reformers 
of the day, the Rev. H. L. Phillips of Philadelphia. The Methodist 
Episcopal Church has Dr. J. W. E. Bowen, a man of ability and dignity, 
while the Congregationalists have the Rev. H. H. Proctor. 

The men mentioned are not the better known to the public, but they 
are the ones who are doing the work and leading the best elements of 
the Negroes.* 

38. The Eighth Atlanta Conference. The Eighth Atlanta Conference, 
to study the Negro Problems, met Tuesday morning, May 26, 1903, in 
Ware Memorial Chapel, Atlanta University. The subject for study was 
the Negro Church, and tlie following programme was carried out : 

• For the lives of these meu, Cf. Simmon's Men of Mark. 


First Session, 10 A. M. 

President Horace Bumstead. presiding. 
Subject: "Young People and the Church." 
Address— Rev. W. H. Holloway, of Thomas County, Ga. 
Address— Rev. Dr. Washington Gladden, President of the Ameri- 
can Missionary Association. 

Second Session, 3 P. M. 

Mrs. Anna Wade Richardson, of the Lamson School. Marshallvllle, 
Ga., presiding. 

Subject: "Women and the Church." 

Music — By the pupils of the Mitchell Street School. 

Address — Mrs. Mary Church Terrell, First President of the Na- 
tional Federation of Colored Women's Clubs. 

"Children and the Church."— Report of the Secretary. 

Third Session, 8 P. M. 

President Horace Bumstead, presiding. 

Remarks of President Bumstead. 

"How the Religion of Negroes may become more Practical." Rev. 
C. B. Wllmer, Rector of St. Luke's Protestant Episcopal Church, 
Atlanta, Ga. 

"Religion as a Solvent of the Race Problem." Professor Kelley 
Miller, of Howard University, Washington, D. C. 

Symposium: "The Negro Church." Ten-minute speeches: Rev. 
J. W E. Bowen, Rev. G. W. Moore, and others. 


Mr. Holloway's address is printed in this treatise as section fifteen, 
and tliat of Dr. Gladden as section thirty-nine. Professor Miller's 
paper has been accepted for publication in the North American Review. 

The Rev. C. B. Wilmer, representing the Southern white jjeople, said 
in part that the country owed a debt to these Conferences and that it 
was a pleasure for him to take part: 

"Religion is the chief means of uplifting mankind, but the Negro church is not 
the power for good that it ought to be. God never made a race incapable of 
responding to the motives of the gospel. Your past proves this of you, and to-day 
there is no higher hero than the Negro who lives a clean, upright life. 

"Let the Negro preacher get God's truth into his mind and heart, and then let him 
get it into the minds and hearts of his hearers. This involves his understanding 
his people and understanding the truth as it is and as it ought to be applied to 
their needs. 

"In general, the Negro possesses the primal virtue of loving what is above him. 
That virtue implies the capacity for all virtue. If I speak now of your weaknesses 
it is only that I may help you. They seem to be, mainly, emotionalism, sensuality, 
in the wide sense, and lack of perseverance. But, in particular, your having come 
out of the experience of slavery, exposes you to peculiar temptations. You have 
passed from childhood into youth, and are passing into manhood. The youth is 
apt to mistake ' sassiness ' for courage, mannishness for manliness, and false 
pride for self-respect. 

"What next, then, are some of the things your preachers should say to you and 
omit to say? Let the Negro preacher 

"(1) Keep politics out of the pulpit. 


"(2) Quit trying to reform white folks. Let the white minister raise a crusade 
against lynching and the Negro against crime. 

"(3) Leave off talking about rights for a while and direct attention to duties. 

"On the positive side let the Negro preacher 

"(1) Inculcate good will toward all men, especially white folks. No cause is 
rendered easier of solution by hate. 

"(2) Insist that only the truth can make you free. Sin is a worse taskmaster 
than any man could be. 

"(3) Insist that nothing worth the having can be had by a jump, but must be 
climbed for. This is where perseverance comes in. 

"(4) Above all, and finally, let the Negro preacher impress on his congregation 
that salvation does not mean acquittal from punishment, ' getting off,' nor is it 
the luxury of emotionalism. It is, negatively, deliverance from sin, and posi- 
tively, the power of righteousness and service of our fellow men." 

39. Remarks of Dr. Washington Gladden. You are citizens, by the 
definition of the constitution, and you are bound to be good citizens — 
intelligent citizens, law-abiding citizens, loyal citizens. From these 
obligations I am sure you do not wish to escape. You mean to do your 
l)art in contributing to the peace, the order, the security, the welfare of 
this great commonwealtli in which you live. 

In my counsels to the young people of Columbus, O., I went on to say 
that those to whom the duties as well as the rights of citizenship are 
entrusted ought not only to fit themselves for their discharge, but to 
discharge them solemnly and conscientiously, when the tiine comes for 
their performance. What shall I say to you who find yourselves ob- 
structed in the performance of these duties ? I do not wish to make any 
inflammatory suggestions; I doubt whether the question of your politi- 
cal rights can be settled by violence. But this much I am safe in saying: 
people who are thorouglily fitted for good citizenship, and who show by 
their conduct that they liave the disposition and the purpose to be good 
citizens, are not going to be permanently excluded, in any part of this 
country, from the responsibilities and duties of citizenship. That is as 
sure as tomorrow's sun-rising. It cannot be that in the United States 
of America, young men who are tlioroughly intelligent, who know what 
citizenship means, who love their country, who are working to build up 
its prosperity and to secure its peace and who are ready to shed their 
blood in its defence, are going to be forbidden to take any part in its 

W^hat I have said, therefore, applies to you, I think, even more closely 
than to the young people of my own state. To you, in an exceptional 
and impressive way, this truth ought to come liome. The more strenu- 
ously men oppose your participation in political affairs, the more zeal- 
ous and dilligent ought you to be in qualifying yourselves to take part 
in them. You are not wliolly shut out from such duties and whenever 
you liave a chance to exercise them, let every man see that they are 
I)erformed with exceptional intelligence and exceptional conscientious- 


ness; that the black man holds the suffrage as a high and sacred trust; 
that he cannot be bribed or led astray by the arts of the demagogue ; 
that he puts aside his own personal interests when he votes ; that he will 
not even use the suffrage as a means of extorting benefits for his own 
race at the expense of the rest of the community, but will always keep 
in view the general welfare ; that he is always and everywhere a patriot 
in his political action; that when he holds an office he discharges its 
duties more faithfully and honestly than the white man does. I have 
heard of some instances of this nature since I came to Atlanta — of men 
in public station whose white neighbors testify concerning them that their 
conduct is blameless and their service of the highest order. Let such 
instances be multiplied. Hold up the standard everywhere; rally 
round it all your people. Let it be your constant endeavor, your highest 
ambition to infuse this spirit, this purpose, into the thought and the 
life of all colored men. Before such a purpose as that the bari'iers of 
political exclusiveness are sure to go down. 

Do not understand me as justifying or excusing those exclusions. I 
think they are utterly many. But I am pointing out to you the kind of 
weapons with which you can surely batter them down. 

And now, very briefly, what can we say of the relations of the young 
people to the church ? Here are these 1,210,-181 young peoi)le under 
twenty-one. They are ail citizens of Georgia; they all belong to the 
state. Do they all belong to the church? No; I fear not. They all 
belong to God; they are all His children; they owe Him love and 
reverence; if they are filial children, prodigal children, they are all 
God's children; they cannot, if they renounce and forswear it, rid 
themselves of the obligation of allegiance to Him. We may say of 
them, that they all belong in one sense to the kingdom of God. . . . 

Here again I find myself in some doubt as to the fitness of these words 
to your peculiar circumstances. To those of you who live in Atlanta I 
can speak with confidence for I know that you can find a church here 
of which all that I say is true, in which you can find the kind of instruc- 
tion and inspiration you need, to which you can attach yourselves with 
intelligent enthusiasm, with which you can join in the work of uplift- 
ing humanity. I suppose that there are churches of the same sort in 
many of the Southern cities in which you could be welcome. Doubt- 
less there are a great many churches in all the Southern states which 
are far below this ideal, in which the religious instruction you would 
receive would be imperfect, in which the prevailing idea of religion would 
be one that no intelligent and conscientious person could accept. Many 
of you will find yourselves in communities in which the only churches 
are of this kind. I am not familiar enough with the situation in such 
communities to give yovT any very positive counsel respecting your 
conduct. I had hoped that I might be able to attend the whole of this 
conference, and that then I might be able to gain some information 
which would enable me to form a clearer judgment upon these ques- 


tions. "What I say about it now must be very provisional and tenta- 

1. In the first place, it seems to me that you are bound to do all you 
can for the purification of the ideal of the Christian church. What the 
Christian church is, what it ought to stand for, you have some clear 
idea. You know that it stands, above all things, for pure conduct and 
high character; that its members ought to be men and women of 
blameless lives; that its ministers ought to be examples of virtue and 
honor and nobility. You know that conversion is no mere ebullition of 
religious emotion; that it is a change of mind and heart and life; a 
change from untruth to veracity, from impurity to chastity, from 
selfishness to unselfishness, from the spirit wliich is always asking, 
"How much am I going to get out of this?" to the spirit which is 
always saying, "Where can I give the most to those who are neediest ?" 
You know that a Christian church ought not to be a company of men 
and women whose main business is having a good time — by getting 
happy and convincing themselves that they are sure of going to 
heaven — but whose main business is bringing lieaven down to earth by 
showing men how to live sucli clean, beautiful, unselfish lives that the 
wilderness and the solitary place are glad for them, and that flowers of 
Paradise spring up in their path wherever they go. And I tliink it is 
your first duty to enforce this high and true ideal of what a church 
ought to be upon all the people with whom you come in contact. 
You will have to be wise about it. It will not do to be harsh and cen- 
sorious in your judgments of the ideas and practices of those whom you 
are trying to lead into the liglat; you must persuade them by lifting up 
liigher ideals before them, rather than l)y condemning and denouncing 
their ways. But I am sure that the young men and women who go out 
from such schools as this can do much, if they are wise and kind, to 
purify and elevate the ideals of the church in the communities where 
they live. 

2. In some cases, doubtless, it will be found impracticable to im- 
prove the conditions of tlie existing churches, and it will, therefore, be 
necessary to organize new churches in which the essentials of Chris- 
tianity can be maintained and exemplified. This will call for hard and 
self-condemning work. It will demand faith and courage and patience 
and gentleness; but it may be work of the highest value and product- 
iveness, and you must be ready for it. 

3. Finally, let me express my belief that no other kind of work can 
be more vital or more fruitful in the elevation of the Negro race than 
the work of the ministry when it is exercised with intelligence and 
fidelity and devotion to the highest standards of Christian conduct and 

There are few positions in which a young man can do more harm 
than in the leadership of a church which is the exponent of nothing 
better than a mere emotional religionism; in which pietism is divorced 


from character and made the cover of all kinds of immoralities. But, 
on the other hand, there are few positions in which a young man can 
do more good than as the pastor of a church in which clean living and 
unselfish service are exemplified ; a church which stands for all the great 
verities of manhood and womanhood and lifts up a standard around 
which the elements that make for social and civic righteousness may 
gather and do heroic battle for God and home and native land. I do 
not believe that such churches as these are likely, in the present order 
of things, to be very popular all at once. It is probable that young 
men who undertake to organize and lead them will have to be content 
with the hard work and small compensation. They can find softer 
places and better salaries in churches where the standards are different. 
But no man can afford to lower his ideals for the sake of pelf or popu- 
larity. The elevation of the Negro race will wait a long time under 
such leadership. But men who are not looking for such bertlis, men to 
whom life means service, can find, in tlie Christian ministry, a great 
opportunity to serve their I'ace and their country. 

Such are the ideals which will, I trust, commend themselves to your 
choice as you go out to the work of life. For men and women with such 
purposes and aims the church has need and the state has need, and 
great rewards are waiting for them. I want you to win success, the true 
success — that which is won not by outstripping our neighbors but by 
helping them to get on their feet and keep in the way of life. That is 
not what the world means by success, but it is the only true success, 
believe me. Now is the time for you to get this truth firmly fixed in 
your own minds, not only as a pleasing sentiment, but as a working 
theory of life. 

40. Resolutions. The Eighth Atlanta Conference is impressed by 
the great crying need of a strengtliening of religious effort and moral 
inspiration among the masses of the Negro people. 

We are passing through that critical period of religious evolution 
when the low moral and intellectual standard of the past and the 
curious custom of emotional fervor are not longer attracting the young 
and ought in justice to repel the intelligent and the good. 

At the same time religion of mere reason and morality will not 
alone supply the dynamic of spiritual inspiration and sacrifice. 

We need, then, first the strengtiiening of ideals of life and living; 
of reverent faith in the ultimate triumph of the good and of hope in 
human justice and growth. 

We need this for the sake of the family, the moral standards of 
which need lifting and purifying. Upon the women of no race have 
the truths of the gospel taken a firmer and deeper hold than upon 
the colored women of the United States. For her protection and by 
her help a religious rebirth is needed. 


We need it for the sake of our race, which, in the midst of repression 
and discouragement, is so easily apt to drift into crime and listless- 

And finally, we need it for the sake of the state. Despite the pres- 
ent unrighteous denial of political rights to black men it is true, as 
Dr. Washington Gladden has said to this Conference, that — 

'■'■ People who are thoroughly fitted for good citizenship and who show 
by their conduct that they have the disposition and the purpose to be 
good citizens are not going to be permanently excluded in any part of 
this country from the responsibilities and duties of citizenship. This is 
as true as tomorrow's sun-rising. It cannot be that in the United States 
of America young men who are thoroughly intelligent, who know what 
citizenship means, who love their country, who are working to build 
up its prosperity and to secure its peace and who are ready to shed 
their blood in its defense, are going to be forbidden to take any part 
in its government." 

The great engine of moral uplift is the Christian church. The Negro 
church is a mighty social power to-day; but it needs cleansing, reviving 
and inspiring, and once purged of its dross it will become as it ought 
to be, and as it is noio, to some extent, the most powerful agency in the 
moral development and social reform of 9,000,000 Americans of Negro 

The Negro of America needs an Age of Faith. All great ages are 
ages of faith. It is absolutely necessary for a new people to begin 
their career with the religious verities. Religious and moral qualities 
are independent of the eventualities of the race problem; no matter 
what destiny awaits the race, Religion is necessary either as a solvent 
or as a salve. 

Religious precepts would rob the white man of his prejudices and 
cause him to recognize the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of 
man. Christianity is contrary to the spirit of caste — spiritual kinship 
transcends all other relations. The race problem will be solved when 
Christianity gains control of the innate wickedness of the human 
heart, and men learn to apply in dealing with their fellows the simple 
principles of the Golden Rule and the Sermon on the Mount. 

(Signed) Mary Church Terrell, 

Kelly Miller, 
W. E. B. Du Bois. 


African Methodists (A. M. E.) : Present condition of, 123-131. 

Beginning of, 41, 124, 125; board of bishops of, 130, 131; growth of, 
126; publishing department of, 127-129; schools of, 129, 130. 

African Methodist Episcopal Zion, see Zion Methodists. 

Afro- American Presbyterian, 146. 

Allen, Richard, 31, 123, 124. 

American Missionary Association, The, 147, 148, 152, 153, 176. 

Anderson, D. W., 202. 

An Eastern City, 108-110. 

Answers of public school children, 185-190. 

Ante-bellum slave marriages, 56. 

Ante-bellum preachers, 30-37. 

Arnett, Rev. B. W., 92. 

Atlanta, Ga., Negro churches in, 69-79. 

African l^Iethodist Episcopal, 71; Baptist, 69, 70; Colored Methodist 
Episcopal, 71; Congregational and other, 71, 72; denominations of, 
69; extracts from reports of, 72, 73; Methodist, 70, 71; salaries of 
ministers of, 79 ; typical congregations in, 74-79. 

Atlanta University, 49, 69, 88, 202. 

Baptists : Present condition of, 111-123. 

Convention, National, of. 111; Home Missionary Society of, 122, 176; 
National Board of, 120; newspapers of, 112; publishing department 
of, 114-117; schools of, 117-120; Young People's Union Board, 120. 

Bishops of African Methodist Episcopal Church, 130, 131. 

Black Belt, 57-64. 

Bowen, Dr. J. W. E., 201, z02, 203. 

Boyd, R. F., 202. 

Bumstead, President Horace, 203. 

Burns, Francis, 137. 

Capers, Bishop, 28. 

Carey, Lott, 34. 

Carroll, Dr. H. K., 153. 

Chavis, John, 35. 

Chicago, Negro churches in, 87-92. 

Children and the church, 185-190. 

Children in public schools, answers of, 185-19<j. 

Coker. Rev. Daniel, 33. 


Colored Methodists (C. M. E.) : Present condition of, 133-184. 

Beginning of, 47 ; publishing department of, 133; schools of, 133. 
Condition of churches, see present condition. 
Congregationalists : Present condition of, 147-153. 

American Missionary Association, 147, 148, 152, 153; educational 

work of, 151 ; schools of, 152. 
Cromwell, Mr. John W., 30. 
Crummell, Alexander, 202. 

De Berry, Rev. W. N., 149. 
Deland, Fla., 49, (54. 

Earlier Churches and Preachers, 30-35. 

Early restrictions, 10-12. 

Edwards on witchcraft, 6. 

Effect of transplanting, 2-5. 

Eighth Atlanta Conference, The, 202. 

Episcopalians: Present condition of colored, 138-142. 

Evans, Henry, 36. 

Farmville, Va., 81, 82. 

Ferguson, Rev. Samuel David, 138. 

Florida, a town in, 64-68. 

Free African Society, The, 124. 

Freedman's Aid and Southern Educational Society of the Methodist 

Episcopal Church, 135, 176. 
Freeman, Ralph, 36. 

Qarnett, Henry Highland, 202. 
Georgia, Black belt county in, 57-64. 
Gladden, Dr. Washington, 203, 204, 208. 
(Gloucester, Rev. John, 32. 
Gray, Mr., on Nat Turner, 25. 
Greene County, Ohio, 92, 94-108. 
Grimes, Leonard A., 202. 
Grimke, Rev. Francis J., 176, 202. 

Habersham, James, 10. 

Haynes, Lemuel, 35. 
Holloway, Rev. W. H., 49, 57, 203. 
Holly, James Theodore. 138. 
Hosier, Harry, .33. 

Illinois (local study), 83-92. 
Importation of Negroes and slaA^es, 8. 

Jack of Virginia, 35. 37. 

.Jasper, John J.. 81. 
Johns, Bishop. 140. 


Jones, Absalom, 82, 123, 142. 
Jones, Rev. C. C 26. 27. 28, 49. 

Kaffirs, 1. 

Lane, Lundsford, 29, 36. 

Lee, Bishop Benjamin F., 202. 

Lisle, Rev. George, 33. 

Local Studies, 49-110. 

A Black Belt County, Ga., 57-64; an Eastern City. 108-110; a Southern 
City, 69-79; a Town in Florida. 64-68; the Middle West, Illinois, 
83-92; the Middle West. Ohio, 92-108; Virginia, 80-83. 

MacLean, Dr. Annie M., 49. 64. 

Marriages, slave, 56. 

Methodism, Negroes and, 136. 

Methodists (M. E.) : Present condition of, 134-138; Schools of, 135. See 

also A. M. E., C. M. E. and A. M. E. Z. Churches. 
Miller, Professor Kelley, 203. 
Missions and Negroes, 12, 15, 20, 26. 
Moore, Rev. G. W., 203. 
Moral Status of Negroes, The, 176-185. 

Moravians, Methodists. Baptists, and Presbyterians. 15-20. 
Morris, E. C, 202. 

Negro Church in 1890, The, 37-49. 

Negroes and Methodism, 136. 

Negroes and white theological schools, 195-202. 

Negro laymen and the church, 154-164. 

Negro theological schools, 190-195. 

Negroes, importation of, 8. 

Obeah Sorcery, The, 5. 

Oliio, the Middle West (local study). 92-108. 

Payne, Bishop Daniel, 131, 201, 202. 

Philadelphia. Penn., 108-110. 

Phillips, Rev. H. L., 202. 

Presbyterians : Present condition of, 142-146. 

Churches of, in the North, outside of the Mission Board's work, 145. 
Preachers, 30, 35, 49, 90, 111, 154, 202. 
Present condition of churches: African Methociist Episcopal. 123-131; 

Baptists, 111-123; Colored Methodists, 133-134; Congregationalists, 

147-153; Episcopalians, 138-142; Methodists, ];S4-1.38; Presbyterians, 

142-146; Zion Methodists. 131-i;33. 
Price, J. C. 202. 
Primitive Negro religion, 1-2. 
Proctor, Rev. H. H., 202. 
Publications: African Methodist Episcopal, 127-129: Baptist. 11.5. 121; 

Zion Methodist. 133. 


Remarks of Dr. Washington Gladden, 204-207. 
Resolutions of the Conference, 207-208. 
Richardson, Mrs. Anna Wade, 203. 
Richmond, Va., Negro churches in, 80-81. 
Roberts, Rev. John W., 137. 

Schmidt, Rev. J. Renatus, 15. 

Schools: African Methodist Episcopal, 130; Baptist, 117-120; Colored 
Methodist, 133; Congregational, 152; Methodist Episcopal, 136; 
Presbyterian, 144; Theological, 190-194; Zion Methodist, 132-133. 

Sects and Slavery, The, 20-22. 

Slave marriages, 56. 

Slavery and Christianity, 6-10. 

Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, 12-15. 

Southern whites and the Negro church, 164-176. 

Spencer, Rev. Peter, 33. 

Summary of Negro Churches, 153-154. 

Sunday-schools, 104, 107, 158, 186. 

Tanner, Bishop B. T., 202. 

Terrell, Mrs. Mary Church, 203, 208. 

The Middle West, Illinois, 83-92. 

The Middle West, Ohio, 92-108. 

Theological schools for Negroes, 190-195. 

Third Period of Missionary Enterprise, 26-30. 

Thomas County, Georgia, Negro churches in, 63-64. 

Toussaint L'Ouverture and Nat Turner, 22-26. 

Town in Florida, 64-68. 

Training of Ministers, The, 190-202. 

Turner, Nat, 22, 23, 24, 25. 

Varick, James, 30. 

Virginia, 80-83. 

Virginia Union University, 49, 190, 192. 194. 

Voodooism, 5. 

White, William, 124. 
Wilberforce, 94, 97, 129, 137, 190. 
Williams, Professor B. F., 49. 
Wilmer, Rev. C. B., 203. 
Witchcraft, 1, 3, 6. 
Work, Mr. Monroe N., 49, 83. 
Wright, Rev. R. R., Jr., 49,-92. 

Xenia, Ohio, 98-102. 

Zion Methodists: Present condition of, 131-133; beginning of, 45; publi- 
cations of, 133; schools, 132-133. 

The proper study of mankind is man." 


The Atlanta University Publications 

No. 1 — MOKTALITY AMONG NeGROES IN CiTIES ; 51 pp., 1896, (out 

of print). 

— Mortality among Negroes in Cities ; 24 pp., (2nd ed., 

abridged, 1903), 50 cents. 
No. 2 — Social and Physical Conditions of Negroes m Cities ; 

86 pp., 1897, 50 cents. 
No. 3 — Some Efforts of Negroes for Social Bbtterihent ; 66 pp., 

1898, (out of print-). 
No. 4 — The Negro in Business ; 78 pp., 1899, (out of print). 
No. 5 — The College-bred Negro; 115 pp., 1900, (out of print). 
— The College-bred Negro; 32 pp., (2nd ed., abridged). 

25 cents. 
No. 6 — The Negro Com3ion School ; 120 pp., 1901. 50 cents. 
No. 7— The Negro Artisan ; 200 pp., 1902, 50 cents. 
No. 8 — The Negro Church; 1903, 50 cents.. 
No. 9 — Crime among Negroes in Georgia. (To be published 

in 1904.) 

A few complete sets are for sale. 

We study the problem that others discuss. 

I HAVE seen the Negroes in all their religious 
moods, in their most death-like trances and 
in their wildest outbreaks of excitement. I have 
preached to them in town and city and on the plan- 
tations. I have been their pastor, have led their 
class and prayer meetings, conducted their love 
feasts, taught them the Catechism. I have mar- 
ried them, baptized their children, and buri-ed their 
dead. In the reality of religion among them, I have 
the most entire confidence, nor can I ever doubt it 
while religion is a reality to me. Their notions 
may be in some things crude, their conceptions of 
truth realistic, sometimes to a painful, sometimes to 
a grotesque, degree. They may be more emotional 
than ethical. They may show many imperfections 
in their religious development ; nevertheless their 
religion is their most striking and important, their 
strongest and most formative, characteristic. They 
are more remarkable here than anywhere else ; 
their religion has had more to do in shaping their 
better character in this country than any other 
influence ; it will most determine what they are to 
become in their future development. 

Atticus G. Haygood.